May 21, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti accused the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (GID) of sponsoring anti-Khartoum rebels who are residing in Cairo despite repeated complaints by his government.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti (Photo: Kirill Kudryavtev/AFP/Getty Images)
"[Egypt] does not remember hundreds of opposition [members] who belong to armed groups bearing arms [against the government] and have safe premises sponsored by security and intelligence service and sponsored by the state and have full rights to hold seminars and adopt political positions," Karti told al-Sudaninewspaper in an interview.
"We urged them [Cairo] dozens of times and they asked us for names [of rebel figures]. We wrote [provided to them] hundreds of names and repeated it dozens of times and [ambassador] Kamal Hassan Ali knows this file completely. They even demanded from us their sites [where opposition members are staying] and we identified these villas and apartments in which they reside. We are fully aware of who in the [Egyptian] intelligence agencies dealing with them" he added.
The Sudanese top diplomat emphasised that they will not reciprocate and denied hosting any Egyptian opposition figures from the Muslim Brotherhood.
"Sudan has always been respectful of the political situation in Egypt, and we declared over and over that we will not be a launch pad for any damages towards Egypt and in fact Sudan is free of any of the symbols of the Egyptian opposition" he said.
Karti suggested that Cairo is retaliating for Khartoum’s supportive position of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam.
"There are pressures on us. The Egyptian interior minister says they are facing a security threat from the south. Which south is he referring to?" he said.
Cairo was irked by Khartoum’s support of Ethiopia’s plan to build the Renaissance dam which Egypt argues will impact its Nile water share needed for its population of 90 million.
Furthermore, Sudan’s Islamist government has appeared uncomfortable with the recent developments in Egypt given the common ideology they shared with Egypt’s ex-president Mohamed Morsi and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which brought him to power.
Karti also acknowledged tensions with Arab Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over relations with Iran and presumption that Sudan backs the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.
"We said that we have nothing to do with the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, and they were unable to bring Sudan to their side. Sudan was the last state that Morsi has visited," he said.
He criticised local media and even the Sudanese army for overstating the issue of docking of Iranian warships in Port Sudan which appeared to concern these countries.
Karti also denied that Sudan is an issue of dispute between Qatar and its neighbors.
A diplomatic fallout occurred between Qatar and other Gulf states, including UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain after they accused Doha of failing to abide by an accord not to interfere in each others’ internal affairs.
The three Gulf states are believed to be angry at Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement whose ideology challenges the principle of conservative dynastic rule long dominant in the Gulf.
A source close to Qatar’s government told Reuters last March that the dispute had more to do with issues in the wider Middle East such as the crises in Egypt and Syria, than about matters affecting fellow Gulf states.
Qatar is one of the main political and economic backers of Sudan’s Islamist government and has hosted Darfur peace talks which resulted in a peace accord signed in 2011 known as the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) between Khartoum and Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) headed by Tijani el-Sissi.