FM Prince Faisal’s visit is meant to kick-start deals between Sudan and Saudi Arabia. He is set to have meetings with Sudanese General Abdel Fattah Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al Saud (C) exits Sudan's Foreign Ministry building after his meeting with Foreign Minister Omar Gamaledinne (R), Khartoum, December 8, 2020.
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al Saud (C) exits Sudan's Foreign Ministry building after his meeting with Foreign Minister Omar Gamaledinne (R), Khartoum, December 8, 2020. (Ashraf Shazly / AFP)

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has arrived in Khartoum, the first visit by the kingdom's top diplomat since Sudan's military overthrew former autocratic leader President Omar al Bashir last year.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud landed at Khartoum’s international airport on Tuesday morning. He was received by Sudan’s acting Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al Din, SUNA reported.

Prince Faisal was expected to meet with Gen Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of Sudan’s sovereign council, and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

SUNA reported that Prince Faisal’s visit was meant to “activate deals" between Sudan and Saudi Arabia. It did not elaborate.

There was no official comment from Saudi Arabia.

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Transforming Sudan

Sudan is on a fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow Bashir in April 2019, after nearly three decades of rule. Since then, the country has been led by a joint military-civilian council.

The transitional government faces steep challenges to transforming Sudan’s economic system and meeting the demands of protesters who ousted Bashir, spurred by the soaring prices of staple goods and rising youth unemployment.

Following Bashir’s overthrow, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates stepped up to financially support the new leaders of Sudan. Both Gulf monarchies vowed to provide $3 billion in aid to Sudan, with half of the amount already delivered.

Sudan is part of a Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels since 2015. Khartoum has sent thousands of troops to Yemen and Saudi Arabia. But recently, Sudan has drawn down its forces, while insisting it has not quit the coalition.

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Source: AP