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Saudi Arabia says its support goes for Sudanese people

June 16, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Saudi Arabia is very interested in Sudan’s political stability and keen to support the Sudanese people said Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) who voiced his concern about the rising tensions in Sudan after 3 June.

Mohammed bin Salman MBS (Reuters photo)

MBS made his statements about Sudan in an interview with the London based Asharq al-Awsat published on Sunday after allegations that his country and the United Emirates are encouraging the military council not to hand over power to the opposition Forces For Freedom and Change (FFC).

"We are very interested by the security situation and stability of Sudan, not only because of the strategic importance, of its location and the danger of the collapse of state institutions but also because of the close ties of brotherhood between the two peoples," he said.

He further pointed to the social and historical relations between the two peoples stressing that Sudanese are part of "our social fabric" and made remarkable contributions in Saudi Arabia.

"We will spare no effort in the Kingdom to achieve stability and security for Sudan and its people," he further stressed.

"We will continue our support to our brothers in various areas so that Sudan achieves what it deserves in prosperity and progress," concluded the Crown Prince.

His remarks are the first about the political turmoil in Sudan and increasing accusations in Washington that Riyadh backs the junta which refuse to hand over power to civilians.

His focus and insistence that they intend to support the Sudanese people are seen as a response to the accusations in the media but also by the U.S. lawmakers in Washington who wrote to U.S. State Department demanding to stop the alleged Saudi and UAE interference in Sudanese affairs.

Since the two countries have issued calls for dialogue in Sudan and expressed their support for a peaceful transition to a democratic rule in Sudan.

In a press conference after his visit to Sudan on Friday, the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs Tibor Nagy said the two Gulf countries are interested to engage with the opposition to address these rumours.

"One of the things that we recommended to the FFC was to engage with all various countries with interest in Sudan," he disclosed when in a comment after a question about the alleged support of Saudi Arabia and UAE to the junta.

"I can assure you that those countries also are very open to engaging with the FFC because the best way to alleviate and address rumours is to have direct talks honestly open and in that way, a lot of rumours are going to stop," he further said.

Opposition sources confirmed to Sudan Tribune that the meeting with Nagy discussed the rumoured support to the military council in relation to the participation of Sudanese army troops in the war of Yemen alongside the Saudi forces.

The sources said the opposition reassured the U.S top diplomat for Africa they are not calling for the withdrawal of Sudanese forces from Yemen.

Earlier this month, the Sudan Call leader Sadiq al-Mahdi disclosed that armed groups have discussed UAE officials a draft framework agreement for peace talks with the transitional government.

The interest of the three countries actually, is more focused on the war against Islamist groups which have become a threat to the stability of the Gulf region and the secular Sudanese opposition is "their natural partner" in this issue, said one of several opposition officials who preferred to speak under anonymity.

Ten days after al-Bashir’s removal, Saudi Arabia and UAE announced a $3 billion worth of aid in support to the Sudanese who ousted the former Islamist regime after four-month protests over rising bread prices.

The lifeline includes a deposit of $500 million with the Sudanese central bank and rest will be delivered in the form of food, medicine and petroleum products.