Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Sudan's military leadership pledges to back Saudi Arabia against Iran threats

Saudi crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Gen Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo held talks in Jeddah

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks in Jeddah with General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council. Saudi Press Agency
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks in Jeddah with General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council. Saudi Press Agency

Sudan will stand by Saudi Arabia against "all threats and attacks" from Iran, the deputy head of the country's ruling military council told Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a meeting in Jeddah.

Gen Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo also assured the crown prince of Sudan's continued participation in the Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen's government against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

"Sudan is standing with the kingdom against all threats and attacks from Iran and Houthi militias," Gen Dagalo said, according to a statement by the Transitional Military Council on Friday.

"The Sudanese forces will remain in Yemen to defend the security of Saudi Arabia," the statement quoted him as saying.

Gen Dagalo, widely known by his nickname Hemedti, heads the powerful Rapid Support Forces paramilitary that is part of the Sudanese contingent in the Saudi-led coalition.

The Saudi crown prince's meeting with Gen Dagalo was attended by Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir, Saudi Minister of State Musaed Al Aiban and Transitional Military Council spokesman Gen Shamsaddin Kabbashi, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Gen Dagalo arrived in Jeddah on Thursday on his first trip outside Sudan since the military removed Omar Al Bashir from the presidency in early April following months of protests.

On Saturday, the head of the TMC, General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, made his first foreign visit since the April 11 military takeover to hold talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Cairo.

A presidential spokesman said Mr El Sisi received Gen Al Burhan at the Ittihadia Palace.

The visits come during a lull in talks between the military council and Sudanese civilian leaders on setting up a joint civilian-military council to administer the country until elections are held.

Both sides have agreed that the council will govern Sudan for a three-year transition period but differences remain over the balance of representation on the council and whether its leader will be a civilian or from the military.

Protest leaders on Friday announced a two-day strike from Tuesday to press for their demands.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have pledged a combined $3 billion in aid for Sudan to support the country through its transition period. Both countries have announced deposits of $250 million each in Sudan's central bank to help the country through an economic crisis that triggered popular anger against Mr Al Bashir.

Updated: May 25, 2019 09:31 PM

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