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Sudan unwilling to take sides in Qatar diplomatic crisis

June 9 - 2017 KHARTOUM
National Assembly (file photo/Suna)
National Assembly (file photo/Suna)

Sudan refrains from taking sides in the diplomatic crisis surrounding Qatar, amid calls from Sudanese lawmakers to back its ally against Saudi Arabia and other Arab and Gulf countries.

Responding to questions from lawmakers on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour faced a wave of calls by Sudanese legislators to declare support to Qatar. In a debate on Wednesday on the Gulf crisis at the National Assembly, Members of Parliament called on the government to voice its support to Qatar.

They stressed that the Gulf state has supported Sudan politically and economically throughout the years. Qatar plays a role in the funding of dialogue and reconciliation projects in Darfur, including the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultations (DIDC) process and the construction of model villages for displaced Darfuris.

Minister Ghandour replied he expects Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Egypt to overcome the crisis given the “strong relations and blood ties” between them.

“We will not stand neutral and we will not take sides but we are at the heart of the issue.” Ghandour said that they are actively working to ease the tensions and restore relations between the Gulf countries.

One of the MPs, and former director of the Sudanese security apparatus, Salah Gosh told the minister to “take a clear stance to reject the classification of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas as terrorist groups”, which is the claim from Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Manama and Cairo.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar denies the allegations. Land, sea and air links with the country were closed by the countries that accuse it of supporting Iran and Islamist groups.

Al Jazeera

While tensions flare between the countries, the Qatar-based international satellite news network Al Jazeera said Thursday it was under cyberattack on “all systems”. The state-run Qatar TV was also the target of the attack, Qatari officials told CBS News.

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