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Libyan PM Visits Sudan Amid Allegations Khartoum Supports Libyan Rebels

  • James Butty

FILE - Libya's Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni speaks to reporters in Abu Dhabi.

FILE - Libya's Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni speaks to reporters in Abu Dhabi.

Sudan has denied that it is supporting any faction in the Libyan conflict. Information minister Ahmed Bilal said Khartoum has always been interested in peace in Libya.

This comes as Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani arrived in Khartoum Monday for a three-day visit. He’s expected to meet with President Omar al-Bashir later Tuesday.

Last month, al-Thani’s government accused Sudan of sending aircraft carrying ammunition into the southern Kufra region of Libya. The supplies were allegedly bound for the armed groups who effectively seized control of Tripoli in August.

But Bilal claimed Sudan has no interest in interfering in Libyan affairs. He said Prime Minister al-Thani’s visit will clarify the truth of the Sudanese government's position towards what he called the "legitimate" Libyan government.

“Actually, we have good relations with all the parties there in Libya. Now, with the visit of the Prime Minister of the legitimate government in Libya, he can [get answers to]... a lot of questions, among them... the accusation that Sudan sided with the rebels in Tripoli, which is not correct,” he said.

Bilal said Khartoum wants to bring about dialogue between the different parties in Libya.

He also had an explation for what the Sudanese aircraft could have doing in the southern Kufra region back in September: “When they said that the aircraft came from Khartoum and landed in Kufra and then in Tripoli, we said at that time this trip was for getting supplies for the common troops between Sudan and Libya,” Bilal said.

Bilal also said Bashir and al-Thani will discuss different aspects of cooperation between their two countries.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told VOA this week that while there was a lack of political will at the moment by some countries to arrest Bashir, she believes Bashir would eventually be brought before ICC.

Bilal said the ICC and continued US sanctions on Khartoum were hindering peace in Sudan. Nonetheless, he added, Bashir’s national dialogue will eventually lead to peace among Sudanese.

“I assure we are very serious, very genuine to go forward with the dialogue. And I’m sure all the Sudanese will reach a place whereby they can agree on how to rule their country,” Bilal said.

He said next year’s presidential election in Sudan could be suspended if all parties agree during the national dialogue that it should be postponed.

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