December 18, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Tuesday has stressed his country’s continued participation in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
The Sudanese army has been participating in the Saudi-led military coalition since 2015 in a regional effort to back the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after he was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.
Following al-Bashir’s surprising visit to Syria on Sunday, there have been widespread reports that Sudan intends to withdraw its army from Yemen.
However, during a meeting between al-Bashir and the visiting Chief of the General Staff of the Saudi Armed Forces, Fayyadh Al-Ruwaili, in Khartoum on Tuesday, the Sudanese President stressed continued participation in Yemen war.
“The security of the two Holy Mosques is a red line and Sudan is carrying out an ethical and sacred duty. The Sudan Armed Forces would continue to participate in the coalition according to the agreement between the two countries’ he said
He also underlined the need to enhance cooperation between the two armies on all fields particularly training and development and the joint military exercises.
Last May, President Omar al-Bashir underscored Sudan’s continued participation in the military coalition, three weeks after State Defence Minister Ali Mohamed Salim said his ministry was evaluating pros and cons of the participation in the Yemen war in order to decide on it soon.
Al-Bashir has been under pressure to withdraw his troops from Yemen because Gulf countries particularly Saudi Arabia do not provide financial support to the country to overcome its economic crisis.
The Saudi chief of staff is visiting Sudan to attend the class of 2018 graduation ceremony at the Nimeiry Military Academy which included 19 Saudi officers. He will also take part in the conclusion of Sudanese army’s exercise on the Red Sea coast.
DEFENCE MINISTER MEETS AL-RUWAILI
Meanwhile, Sudan’s Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf has reiterated his country’s firm stance to defend Saudi Arabia against any possible threats.
Ibn Ouf on Tuesday met with Al-Ruwaili, in the presence of the Chief of General Staff, Kamal Abdel-Marouf, and Director of the Military Intelligence, Mustafa Mohamed.
During the meeting, Ibn Ouf underlined the strong relationship between the two countries, saying Sudan’s stance towards Saudi Arabia is driven by the duty of religion, brotherhood and common history.
For his part, Al-Ruwaili praised Sudan’s role and sacrifices to protect the Arab nation’s security against foreign interventions, pointing to the effective participation of the Sudanese army in the Yemen war.
He expressed keenness to promote cooperation between the two armies to include all domains strengthening the defence capabilities of the two countries.
For his part, the Sudanese army chief of staff Kamal Abdel-Marouf said he had frank and constructive discussions with the visiting Saudi delegation. He further stressed the desire of the two countries to develop strategic cooperation and great partnership to serve the interests of the two countries and enhance their security and stability.
He said the discussions focused on intelligence and security issues in terms of cooperation and exchange of expertise and information and continuous coordination.
Also, the talks between the two sides touched on the military operations and the participation of the Sudanese armed forces in the Operation Decisive Storm against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, pointing out that all matters related to these forces were discussed.