Home | News    Sunday 12 October 2014

Sudan’s Bashir says relations with Saudi Arabia now normal


October 11, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir said his country has managed to overcome the frosty relations with Saudi Arabia, saying Khartoum’s ties with Tehran don’t qualify to be described as strategic.

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Saudi King Abdullah (R) meets Sudan’s president, Omer Hassan al-Bashir, in Riyadh on 9 March 2012 (Photo: Reuters/Saudi Press Agency)

Bashir told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper on Saturday that he refuted to the Saudi leadership erroneous information on Sudan’s relations with Iran, acknowledging the chill in relations between Khartoum and Riyadh in the previous period.

“Our relationship with Saudi Arabia was frosty but not tense because there is nothing going on between the two countries that could strain relations and even this chill in ties wouldn’t have occurred without the leak of large amount of false information on the situation in Sudan and its foreign relations particularly with Iran,” he added.

He said that he explained to the Saudi’s the vision and nature of Khartoum’s relationship with Tehran, saying all information received by the Saudi leadership in this regard were “false, fabricated and exaggerated”.

“Our recent decision to shut down the Iranian cultural centres [in Sudan] was a strategic move not a manoeuvre or a gesture to gain confidence of the Gulf States,” he said.

Bashir stressed that ongoing contacts with the Saudi leadership managed to overcome the past; pointing to the warm welcome he received during his recent visit to the kingdom to perform Hajj.


Bashir described the recently circulated leaked government document as “series of fabrications” produced by some actors who seek to disturb relations with the Gulf States and hurt Sudan politically and economically.

Last month, Eric reeves, a university professor and noted Sudan scholar, published a document entitled “Management of Military Activities”. The document dated 1 September is set out as an account of a meeting at the National Defence College in Khartoum on the previous day.

Reeves said he received the document, which contained the "Minutes of the Military and Security Committee Meeting”, from a source within Sudan whom he trusts.

The document quotes the director of military intelligence and security, Lt. Gen. Siddig Aamir, as saying “Our relation with Iran is beneficial to us, because Iran is our biggest ally in the region, in terms of the cooperation in the areas of intelligence and military industrial production. This is due to our web-like relations with all the Islamic Movements World Wide. The importance of this relation comes from the fact that we constitute for Iran to all the Islamic groups”.

It also quotes the ruling National Congress Party’s (NCP) political secretary, Mustafa Osman Ismail, as saying “ In the open let us maintain good relations with the Gulf States, but strategically with Iran and to be managed secretly by the M.I. and security organs”.

While the Sudanese defence minister, Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, was quoted in the document as saying “Our relation with Iran is strategic and everlasting. We cannot compromise or lose it. All the advancement in our military industry is from Iran. They opened the doors of their stores of weapons for us, at a time the Arabs stood against us”.


Bashir refused to describe Sudan’s relations with Iran as “strategic”, pointing that Tehran refrained from supporting Khartoum after sessions of South Sudan which led to a serious economic crisis.

“Many countries stood by our side and rendered us support on top of which is Saudi Arabia but we managed to overcome that [difficult] period with distinction without getting any support from Iran, not even one cent, they only offered us promises that never materialized and this is why we don’t consider our ties with Iran strategic,” he said.

He underscored that his country strictly opposes Shi’ism, noting they have enough of tribal problems and need not open a new door for conflicts between Sunni’s and Shiite’s.

“We do not only oppose Shi’ism but also very worried about the spread of Shi’ism in Africa which was carried out with the support of some African countries besides Jewish and ecclesial organisations”, he said

The Sudanese president added they are currently seeking to implement a joint strategy to stop proliferation of Shi’ism in Africa, saying they shut down the Iranian cultural centre in Khartoum because its work posed a real danger to Sudanese Sunni Muslims.

He mentioned that some reports estimate the number of Sudanese Shiite at 12.000, saying the mission of the cultural centres was not to convert Sunni’s into Shiite or vice versa.

Bashir said the Arab countries need to overcome their differences and unite in the face of the challenges; pointing the existential dangers which are currently seen in Iraq could take place in any area in the Arab world.


Bashir said he will visit Cairo on 18 and 19 October to discuss with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, regional issues of common interests and ways for implementing bilateral agreements signed between the two countries including the four-freedom agreement.

He pointed that ties between Egypt and Sudan are crucial and must be maintained at all levels.

The Sudanese president emphasised that the disputed area of Halayeb would not ignite war between the two countries, saying they will not fight with Egypt on this border issue.

“We will try to resolve the issue through dialogue and negotiations with our Egyptian brothers and if we failed, we would refer it to arbitration and the United Nations,” he said.

He added they hope to reach a happy ending through common understanding, dialogue and prudent negotiations, stressing the two countries enjoy strong ties and capable of overcoming the border dispute.

The Halayeb triangle overlooks the Red Sea and has been a contentious issue between Egypt and Sudan since 1958, shortly after Sudan gained independence from British-Egyptian rule.

The area has been under Cairo’s full military control since the mid-1990’s following a Sudanese backed attempt on former Egyptian president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak’s life. Egypt brushed aside Sudan’s repeated calls for referring the dispute to international arbitration.


Bashir said the head of the Libyan government, Abdullah al-Thani, is now convinced that accusations he made about Sudan’s support of Libyan Islamist militias were based upon false information, saying the latter signed with us a joint agreement on border protection.

“We maintain good relations with all revolutionary forces in Libya and we could use these relations to mediate between the warring parties”, he said.

Al-Thani repeatedly accused Sudan and Qatar of providing military support to extremist militias in Libya, threatening to cut diplomatic ties with the two countries.
On 2 October, Sudan’s foreign ministry for the second time within a less than three weeks summoned the Libyan ambassador in Khartoum to protest against these accusations.


The Sudanese president asserted that Houthis in Yemen are more dangerous than the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), saying the former threatens unity of Yemen.

“The war on ISIL has overshadowed what the Houthis are doing in Yemen. The situation there is very tense and Yemen is facing serious danger because it contains various armed tribes and the south is seeking separation from the north”, he said


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 12 October 2014 08:23, by ForAll

    OK Sudanese Shiite !!!

    What about the Shiite (Asthna Ashriya) in eastern Saudi ARABIA?

    What about the Shiite (Ismailia-Yamia) in Nagran of Saudi ARABIA?

    What about the Shiite (HOOTHiya) near the north Yemen in eastern Saudi ARABIA?

    No for "Divide & Rule" and we must comply with the Holy Qur’an and the TRUE and real Sunna.

    repondre message

  • 12 October 2014 22:38, by Northern Sudanese

    1. maintain great economic relations with Saudi arabia and the gulf for the benefit of the economy
    2. Iran has stood alongide us during the darkest hours when our brothers were against us. we should and will not seize this relation with iran in terms of politics and armed co operation
    3. Halayeb is sudanese and must come back sooner or later by war or negotiations
    4. Too many spelling mistakes ST!

    repondre message

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