US, Europeans call for UN Security Council talks on Sudan

Sudanese demonstrators gather in a street in central Khartoum on April 11, 2019, after long-serving president Omar al-Bashir was ousted by the army. (AFP)

The United States and five European countries on Thursday called for a UN Security Council meeting on Sudan after president Omar al-Bashir was ousted by the army, diplomats said.

The council is expected to discuss the situation in Sudan during a closed-door meeting on Friday that was also requested by France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Poland.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a transition in Sudan that will meet the “democratic aspirations” of the people, his spokesman said.

Guterres appealed for “calm and utmost restraint by all.”

Egypt expressed its “complete support” on Thursday for the Sudanese people and their army in the political transition to come, following the ouster of al-Bashir.

Cairo voiced its full belief in “the ability of the brotherly Sudanese people and their loyal national army to overcome the challenges of this critical stage... in order to achieve stability, prosperity and development,” a foreign ministry statement said.

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The foreign ministry stressed that Egypt respects Sudan’s sovereignty and its national decisions, reiterating its backing of the country’s march towards “stability and prosperity”.  

Saudi Arabia to host Sudanese Umrah performers 

In accordance with the directives of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammed Saleh bin Taher Benten, has directed all Umrah companies and institutions to host Sudanese Umrah performers and provide them with all services until the return of flights to Sudan.

This came following the closure of Sudanese airspace for 24 hours.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah stressed in a circular issued by its Minister Dr. Benten that the companies and institutions of Umrah are committed to continuing to provide services and accommodation to all Sudanese Umrah performers. 

African Union criticizes ouster 

Meanwhile, the African Union on Thursday criticized the military ouster of Sudan’s veteran president al-Bashir and called for calm and restraint. 

“The military takeover is not the appropriate response to the challenges facing Sudan and the aspirations of its people,” said a statement from Moussa Faki, chairman of the AU Commission, in Addis Ababa.

Erdogan calls for national reconciliation 

In Ankara, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on Thursday for national reconciliation in Sudan.

Erdogan, who has deepened Turkey’s investments in Sudan recently, said the two countries had deep relations that Ankara wanted to maintain.

“My wish is that Sudan should succeed in this calmly ... and I believe it should start operating the normal democratic process,” he told a news conference in Ankara.

“It is my most important wish that Sudan gets over this process on the basis of national reconciliation and in peace.”

Erdogan became the first Turkish president to visit Khartoum in 2017, when Turkey signed several deals worth $650 million with Sudan as it emerged from two decades of US sanctions.

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Last Update: 14:41 KSA 17:41 - GMT 14:41
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