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Sudanese official denies mediating for Sudan-Eritrea’s reconciliation

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Sudanese President al-Bashir welcomes President Afwerki in Port Sudan on 25 Nov 2013 (Photo SUNA)
November 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Presidential Assistant Musa Mohamed Ahmed denied talks with Eritrean officials to bridge the gap between the two countries and to ease tensions between the two countries.

Musa who is also the head of the eastern Sudan Beja Congress Party stressed that the government had not entrusted him with negotiating the matter with the Eritrean authorities. But he confirmed he effectively travelled to Eritrea to spend his annual holidays with his family.

He further said such news reports may be expressing "many wishes and hopes that the relationship between Sudan and Eritrea would return to its previous stage of exchange of benefits and interests".

In January 2018, Sudan accused Eritrea of supporting rebel groups and closed the border after the deployment of thousands of troops. Four months later, Asmara accused Sudan, Ethiopia and Qatar of supporting armed opposition groups to overthrow President Isaias Afewerki’s government.

But in July, Ethiopia and Eritrea reconciled and normalized relations between the two neighbouring countries.

Musa who had been backed by Eritrea before to sign a peace agreement with Khartoum in October 2006 pointed out he sought to ease the tensions between the two countries since the beginning of the dispute.

"We were seeking to normalize the relationship and our efforts will not stop, if the government charged me with this task, I will certainly not reject it," he said without explaining why he failed.

The press reports indicated that Presidential Assistant Faisal Hassan Ibrahim was the official tasked with the Eritrean file. Further, it said that President Omer al-Bashir would meet Eritrean President Afewerki after a visit that Faisal would pay to Asmara.

Last September the IGAD Council of Minister said it would discuss the normalization of relations between Djibouti and Eritrea; and between Eritrea and Sudan. However, the east African bloc did not make any mention to the matter in it its statement after the meeting of 12 September.

(ST)

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