New York, Asharq Al-Awsat- Sudanese Presidential adviser, Ghazi Salah al-Din, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Sudan’s dealings with the US is still fraught with many problems, and that “there are indications that US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, still has a hostile attitude towards Sudan.”
In an interview conducted with Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of the Sudanese delegations attendance of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Salah al-Din played down the US and regional concern towards Sudan’s relations with Iran, stressing that there is no truth to rumors that Sudan is an Iranian agent in the region.
Salah al-Din also addressed reports that spoke of Iranian weapons factories in Iran, telling Asharq Al-Awsat “Even if this is true, what is wrong with that? What is wrong with there being a weapons industry in a country which may help it defend its borders? Sudan is the largest African country, and there are a lot of problems there which requires a strong defense system. If we were to establish a weapons factory, what is wrong with that? If we were to utilize Chinese and Russian expertise, and Iranian expertise was available, why should I take a political stance say I will not deal with Iran?”
Salah al-Din, who is an adviser to Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, stressed that there is no evidence that the arms shipment that was destroyed in eastern Sudan a few months ago was on its way to Gaza, saying “Smuggling operations take place in all countries, not just Sudan…we are working against smuggling and cooperating with our brothers in Egypt and other neighboring countries, but occasionally arms smuggling takes place.”
Ghazi Salah al-Din criticized the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Movement [SPLM] rule in southern Sudan, describing this as being lamentable. He also revealed Khartoum’s concern over reports that indicate that arming operations are taking place in the south, saying “Yes, of course there is real and legitimate concern.”