Ismail Haniyeh has praised the people and government of Sudan for their support for the Palestinian cause, especially the Gaza Strip. "It was a pleasure for Sudan to pay a heavy price for their links with us," said the Palestinian Prime Minister approvingly.
Speaking at a welcome ceremony for a delegation from Sudan on Sunday, Mr Haniyeh pointed out that the country had not hesitated to embrace the Palestinian struggle and offer political and media support. "Despite the long distance between Sudan and Palestine, such delegations as this bring us closer together in solidarity," he said, adding out that marches and demonstrations have a huge "moral significance" in the struggle.
Sudan has stood beside the Palestinian government in good times and bad, even though the government in Khartoum has itself faced destabilising plots and threats. "Sudan was the first Arab country to revolt against injustice," said Mr Haniyeh, "raising the banner of Islam and the Law of God in authority."
In response to the prime minister's praise and thanks, a spokesman for the Sudanese delegation said that its members were delighted to be in the blessed land of Palestine; he praised the steadfastness of the Palestinians and expressed the hope that all occupied Palestinian land will soon be free.
This is the second Sudanese delegation in 2013 and the coordinator of Al-Ansar Association in Sudan said that his NGO is working to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people with another two convoys later this year. "Every Sudanese citizen who enters Palestine becomes an ambassador who conveys the immensity of the suffering of the Palestinians to his colleagues, family and friends when he gets home," he insisted. "The current convoy brought aid worth $170,000."
The organisation has been in contact with the Egyptian government to open up a lifeline for aid from Sudan to the Gaza Strip. "There are many projects in Sudan in support of the people of Palestine, including collections of religious funds like Zakat."
A memorandum of cooperation was signed between the President of the Sudanese Zakat Foundation, Yusuf Mohamed Ali Yusuf, the Palestinian Minister of National Economy and the Chairman of the Palestinian Zakat Fund, Dr. Alaa al-Rafati.