Tamim with Hamdouk in New York

Qatar officially invites Sudan’s leadership to visit Doha

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Qatar officially invited head of the Sudanese sovereignty council and the country’s prime minister to visit Doha, (SUNA) reported.

The invitation comes days after General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and Abdullah Hamdouk visit Saudi Arabia, the first time the two Sudanese officials travelled to the kingdom since the formation of Sudan’s new civilian-military Sovereign Council.

Sudan also received one-and-a-half billion dollars from Saudi Arabia and the UAE on Monday, half of what was promised by the Gulf countries after the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir.

Qatar’s invitation was extended in a meeting between Sudan’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs Omar Manis and Special Envoy of Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution Mutlaq al-Qahtani.

Al-Qahtani, who is visiting Khartoum, also met with General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo on Wednesday.

Qahtani was quoted by (SUNA) as saying that the meeting with Dagalo at the presidential palace, which discussed a number of issues related to peace and stability, was “positive and fruitful”.

In a press conference following the meeting, al-Qahtani also said Qatar is ready “to use its regional and international relations to provide all assistance for peace, stability and security in Sudan”.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani expressed support for Sudan’s transitional government.

The Qatari leaders’ speech comes at a time of uncertainty for the small Gulf nation’s relationship with Sudan.

Under former President Omar al-Bashir, ousted by the military in April, Sudan courted support and aid from rival powers in the region including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

But Doha looked to have been sidelined by the generals after they deposed Bashir, with Khartoum instead accepting millions in aid from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, the first countries to back Sudan’s new military rulers in April.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt broke off diplomatic ties with Doha in 2017, accusing it of terrorism, which it denies.

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are accused of supporting and financing the paramilitary force widely held responsible for the June massacre of more than a hundred protesters, as well as the recruitment of child soldiers to serve in Yemen.

The onset of Sudan’s new transitional government, made up of both civilians and military officials, may witness a change in approach to Qatar’s involvement in the country, with broadcaster Al-Jazeera being allowed to return to Sudan in August.

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