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Sudan's Al-Bashir meets sacked minister in Saudi Arabia

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the joint Sudan and Saudi Arabia air force drill in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April, 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April, 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]

Sudan's president has held an unannounced meeting with a dismissed Minister of State in his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, the daily newspaper Al-Sudani reported yesterday.

According to the newspaper, President Omar Al-Bashir met in Madina with Taha Osman Al-Hussein who was removed without an official explanation by Presidential decree last month from his position as State Minister to the Presidency and director of the Presidential Office.

The newspaper reported: "A reliable source confirmed that a general meeting was held with Al-Hussein in the presence the president's entourage and it was pointed out that the ex-official was free to return to the Sudan any time he wanted."

The former minister was sacked after reports that he had not followed the official Sudanese policy of neutrality between the GCC countries and Egypt in their dispute against Qatar. Media outlets reported that the influential minister supplied the Saudi-led bloc with documents to support the assertion that Qatar covertly funded terror groups.

Read: US diplomat says lifting of Sudan sanctions is not linked to human rights

Al-Hussein was arrested for 48 hours at Khartoum International Airport and was granted permission to travel to Saudi Arabia via Bahrain only after being officially dismissed from his position and following mediation by Saudi Arabia, a country where Taha is a citizen.

However, the editor of the newspaper said it was unlikely that Al-Hussein would return to Sudan soon as he had been appointed by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with a special portfolio as the kingdom's envoy to Africa.

#QatarGate

The editor added that the commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Lieutenant General Mohammed Hamdan Humaiditi also visited Al-Hussein in Jeddah when the latter visited Makkah to perform the umrah pilgrimage ritual last week.

Al-Hussein was instrumental in arranging for members of RSF and the Sudan Armed Forces to join the Saudi-led coalition fighting to restore power to the officially-recognised government in Yemen.

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AfricaMiddle EastNewsQatarSaudi ArabiaSudan
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