Riyadh – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said that Arab populations were victims of a “Western, Persian and Zionist conspiracy”. He also accused Iran of seeking to control Arab States by targeting the Sunni community and spreading the Shi’ite ideology in different African and Gulf countries.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the Sudanese president said that his country had detailed and extensive information on Iran’s past practices in Sudan, and its aim to stretch its influence over other African countries.
Asked whether Arab populations were facing the biggest threat in their modern history, Al-Bashir said: “Unfortunately, this is the case.”
“I am afraid that history is repeating itself; we are currently facing the same circumstances that we witnessed in the past era, when the West gained control over the region and achieved its goals, in the wake of Arab internal disputes,” he stated.
The Sudanese president went on to say that major Arab countries, including Syria and Iraq, were currently lost. He noted in this regard that regional and international factors have worsened the situation, stressing the presence of a Zionist, Persian and Western alliance threatening the region.
“Anti-U.S. slogans raised by Iran, such as ‘death to America’ and ‘death to Israel’, are just mere slogans,” al-Bashir said.
“In Syria, there is a clear conspiracy between the Zionist, Persian and Western alliance; and it is obvious that Israel is the biggest beneficiary of what is happening because its strength stems from the weakness of the Arab nation,” he added.
Al-Bashir said he believed that ISIS was “created” to justify attacks against the Sunnis and force them to leave their homes and cities.
“I believe that there was a plan to strengthen ISIS and enable it to occupy Sunni cities in order to justify airstrikes against those areas and the forced displacement of residents,” he said.
Commenting on the terrorist group’s control over the Iraqi city of Mosul, the Sudanese president said: “At the time, we noticed that no more than 1,500 ISIS militants entered Mosul and forced the Iraqi army to withdraw, knowing that there were more than 30,000 army troops deployed in the city.”
“How this remarkable number of Iraqi soldiers withdraws in the face of only 1,500 ISIS members?” He asked.
The same phenomenon is happening in Syria’s Aleppo, according to al-Bachir, where its Sunni residents were forced to leave their homes to flee the bombardments.
The Sudanese president said that relations between his country and Iran would only be mended should the Persian State stops its interference in the Arab region.
“We call on Iran to avoid interfering in the Arab region, stop its attacks against Arab Sunnis, and halt its programs aimed at spreading Shi’ite ideologies,” he stated.
On the purpose of his visit to Saudi Arabia, the Sudanese president said that his visit fell within the framework of continued cooperation with Riyadh in various fields, in particular on the military level.
“The whole region is going through a difficult situation,” al-Bashir said, adding: “The situation in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and other countries requires continuous collaboration between Sudan and Saudi Arabia, especially in light of the major cooperation on the military level, which is obvious in Decisive Storm in Yemen.”
The Sudanese president described his country’s relations with Riyadh as excellent. He also stressed the full cooperation between the two countries on the different levels.
“Relations between the two countries are at their best, whether on the political, economic or foreign levels,” he stated.
He also said that discussions with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, were “very successful”.
Al-Bashir noted that his visit also saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding a Saudi grant to finance a project for providing potable water in Sudanese rural areas.
On a different note, the Sudanese president said he was optimistic on the continuation of talks with the new U.S. administration over the lifting of sanctions against his country.
“Lifting sanctions against Sudan is an old promise; discussions about this issue started before the year 2000 and were based on one condition that is the peace agreement in South Sudan.”
He added that Washington has later imposed new conditions and the issue was delayed several times.
The Sudanese president noted that his government has launched a serious discussion over this matter with former President Barack Obama, highlighting major support received by “brotherly countries”, mainly Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman, which led to a partial lift of sanctions.
“A major obstacle to the Sudanese-U.S. relations was removed,” al-Bashir said, adding that some outstanding issues were yet to be resolved.
The president stressed that his country was “highly cooperative” in fighting terrorism, and expressed positive expectations towards the relations with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.
On the internal level, al-Bashir said that the Sudanese people expressed confidence in their country’s security and progress.
“This confidence has made our people accept the difficult economic situation the country is going through,” he added.
Al-Bashir noted that the severe economic measures imposed in Sudan were aimed at implementing crucial reforms and providing the necessary services in the country.
He added that in line with the Constitution, he would not run for the presidency in 2020.
“The current applicable Constitution is that of 2005; and according to it, I will not be able to run for the presidency again,” he stated.
Al-Bashir said he faced major difficulties in dealing with late Islamist political leader Hassan al-Turabi.
“He was a very charismatic person; he sealed control over the Islamist movement for a long period,” he said. “He overcame many conflicts within the movement, until he clashed with us; and it was his first defeat.”
Al-Bashir stressed the importance of the Islamic Coalition against terrorism.
“We are sure that behind terrorist groups, there are parties working to destabilize Arab and Islamic countries,” he said.