Foreign relations of Sudan

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The foreign relations of Sudan are generally in line with the Muslim Arab world, but are also based on Sudan's economic ties with the People's Republic of China and Western Europe.



On December 23, 2005 Chad, Sudan's neighbor to the west, declared a 'state of belligerency' with Sudan and accused the country of being the "common enemy of the nation (Chad)." This happened after the December 18 attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead. A statement issued by Chadian government on December 23, accused Sudanese militias of making daily incursions into Chad, stealing cattle, killing innocent people and burning villages on the Chadian border. The statement went on to call for Chadians to form a patriotic front against Sudan.[1] On May 11, 2008 Sudan announced it was cutting diplomatic relations with Chad, claiming that it was helping rebels in Darfur to attack the Sudanese capital Khartoum [2]

Sudan Location in Africa


Egypt and Sudan have enjoyed intimate and longstanding historical ties, seeing as they are each other's closest allies in the North African region. The two countries are connected by various cultural ties and political aspirations. In the late 1970s, Sudan showed great solidarity with Egypt in its Camp David peace initiatives with Israel. In 2008, Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif urged the two countries to focus on two specific projects: the Gezira Scheme which aims to cultivate some two million acres (8,000 km²) of land in Sudan, and a joint project to improve food security in agricultural and meat production.

Sudan asserts its claim to the Hala'ib Triangle, a barren area of 20,580 km² under partial Sudanese administration that is defined by an administrative boundary which supersedes the treaty boundary of 1899.

Egypt's policy on Sudan is in favor of a united Sudan. As such Egypt was not directly involved in the Sudan Peace Process which was hosted in Kenya under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development that gave the peoples of south Sudan the right to secede and form an independent state in 2011 after the long and brutal Sudanese civil war that cumulatively lasted 22 years and claimed 2 million lives.


Relations between Ethiopia and Sudan were very good following the end of the Ethiopian Civil War, due to the support that the Sudanese government had given to the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front. However, relations were strained for a time following the 26 June 1995 assassination attempt against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak as he was leaving the OAU summit meeting in Addis Ababa. The subsequent investigation revealed that Sudan was involved in this act, forcing the Ethiopian government to take a series of steps against Sudan that September, which included closing the Sudanese consulate in Gambela, reducing the number of Sudanese embassy staff, and terminating all Sudan Airways and Ethiopian Airlines flights between the two countries. However the start of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War led to Sudan and Ethiopia put this conflict between them and normalizing their relations by November 1999 when president Omar Hassan al-Bashir made a formal visit to Addis Ababa.[3]

Efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Sudan were delayed by the Second Sudanese Civil War. In May 2008, residents along the western Ethiopian border reportedly discovered that the government had agreed to demarcate this boundary when Sudanese soldiers forced them out of their homes. It was reported that as many as 2,000 people were displaced in the Gambela Region, and the Sudanese army reportedly set fire to two dozen Ethiopian farms and imprisoned 34 people in the Amhara Region. However, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi publicly denied that any Ethiopians had been displaced by this agreement.[4]

As of 2007 Ethiopia shelters 66,980 refugees from Sudan, most of whom live in refugee camps in the Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambela Regions.


Relations between Sudan and Libya deteriorated in the early 1970s and reached a low in October 1981, when Libya began a policy of crossborder raids into western Sudan. Following a 1985 coup, Sudan resumed diplomatic relations with Libya.[5] Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi ended his aid to the Christian and animist, southern-based, Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) led by Garang and welcomed the incoming government of General Suwar al Dahab.[6] In July 1985, a military protocol was signed between the two countries, and Qaddafi was the first head of state to visit the new Khartoum government. Qaddafi then strongly supported Sudanese opposition leader Sadiq al Mahdi, who became prime minister on May 6, 1986.[6] However, Mahdi soon turned against Gaddafi by declaring Sudan a neutral state in both regional and global conflicts and ordered Libyan troops to leave the country.[6]

After Mahdi was overthrown in a 1989 coup d'état, the military government of Omar Al-Bashir resumed diplomatic relations with Libya,[5] as part of a policy of improving relations with neighboring Arab states.[5] In early 1990, Libya and the Sudan announced that they would seek “unity.”[5] This unity was never implemented and Sudanese forces ultimately participated in the military intervention that overthrew Qaddafi by securing Kufra.[5]


Sudan, under the National Islamic Font government became one of the very few states in the world that recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. [1]

South Sudan[edit]

Official diplomatic relations commenced on 9 July 2011, the day of South Sudan independence when Sudan became the first state to recognise South Sudanese independence. Although cultural and economic relations predate independence and even the civil war between the two entities.


Relations with Uganda are plagued by a number of issues, including the death of former Vice-President Dr John Garang de Mabior whilst on a Ugandan Presidential Helicopter, backing by Sudan of the Lord's Resistance Army, and the historical backing by Uganda of various regional rebellions in Sudan, as well as Uganda's intimate relations with South Sudan (both before and after South Sudanese independence).



Bulgaria and Sudan established diplomatic relations on July 1, 1956. In 1967, Bulgaria sent the first Bulgarian ambassador to Khartoum. The activities of the Bulgarian embassy in Khartoum were terminated in April 1990, and later reestablished in March, 2005. In 2006 the General Consulate of the Sudan, in Sofia, Bulgaria has been upgraded to the rank of embassy.[7]


Danish-Sudanese relations are extremely poor. On February 27, 2008, Sudan decided to boycott Danish goods after the controversial Muhammad cartoons have been reprinted by a series of newspapers in Denmark and other European countries. Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has backed up the country and other Muslim states, requiring them to boycott Danish products just as Sudan did. He even stated that "No Danes shall ever again be able to set foot in Sudan." Due to the tensions, the two countries have closed their embassies.


See Foreign relations of Greece

Holy See[edit]

See Foreign relations of the Holy See


Russia has an embassy in Khartoum and Sudan has an embassy in Moscow.

For decades, Russia and Sudan have maintained a strong economic and politically strategic partnership. Due to solidarity with both the United States and with the Soviet Union and with the allies of the two nations, Sudan declared neutrality and instead chose membership in the Non-Aligned Movement throughout the Cold War. Russo-Sudanese relations were minorly damaged when, in 1971 members of the Sudanese Communist Party attempted to assassinate then-president Gaafar Nimeiry, and Nimeiry pegged the blame on the USSR, thus enhancing Sudanese relations with the West, and were damaged again when Sudan supported the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan when the USSR invaded in 1979. Due to a common enemy, diplomatic cooperation between the two countries dramatically got back on track during the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Vladimir Putin was elected the President, and then the Prime Minister of Russia, and along with Chinese leader Hu Jintao opposed UN Peacekeepers in Darfur. Russia strongly supports Sudan's territorial integrity and opposes the creation of an independent Darfurian state. Also, Russia is Sudan's strongest investment partner [in Europe] and political ally in Europe, and Russia has repeatedly and significantly regarded Sudan as an important global ally in the African continent. For decades there have been Sudanese collegians studying in Russian universities.


Sudan has an embassy in Ankara.[8] Turkey has an embassy in Khartoum.[9] Northern Sudan was under the rule of Istanbul's autonomous vassal, Muhammad Ali Pasha, and therefore by nominal extension, Turkey as a part of the Ottoman Empire and no political problems exist between the two countries

Although on opposing sides of the Middle East Peace Process spectrum, Turkey and Sudan have in recent years joined forces to end the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Both countries have made repeated plea talks during the offensive in Gaza during the beginning of 2009 to Palestinian officials to be of both economic and political aid to the turmoilic state.

United Kingdom[edit]

In March 2009, Sudan expelled several major foreign aid agencies including Oxfam [10][11][12] and Save the Children from Darfur in response to the extradition request of Omar al-Bashir to answer ICC charges. President al-Bashir accused foreign aid workers of being "spies" and "thieves".[12][13] Penny Lawrence, Oxfam's international director, said of the ban "It will affect more than 600,000 Sudanese people whom we provide with vital humanitarian and development aid, including clean water and sanitation on a daily basis." [14]

Gordon Brown said in response "The humanitarian agencies that are working in Sudan should be allowed to stay there and continue their work." [15]

In April 2009, Oxfam and other aid agencies appealed their ban [16] saying that "The expulsion is already affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of the very poorest and most vulnerable Sudanese people".[17] Oxfam have denied working for the ICC saying that "We don't have an agreement with the ICC, we are a humanitarian organisation and we are impartial," and "We don't have anything to do with the ICC and we don't have a position on its decision." [18]

Middle East[edit]


Sudan has an Embassy in Baghdad and Iraq's Embassy is in Khartoum.

Sudanese-Iraqi relations were and still are very close, Sudan supported Iraq during the Gulf War, and following the war, Baghdad established Khartoum as a major center for Iraqi intelligence.[19] Iraq and Sudan are connected by remote cultural similarities such as language (both countries speak Arabic, though the two are different in dialect) and religion, both are Muslim (however Sudan is predominantly Sunni, while the majority of Iraq is Shia). Tension between the two countries intensified during the American invasion, even though Sudan fiercely opposed the proposal. Ties between Iraq and Sudan have since improved.


Main article: Sudan-Iran relations

Relations between Sudan and Iran have long been cordial due to their opposition to the State of Israel and extensive trade and diplomatic services that exists between the two nations.


When the Arab-Israeli war began in June 1967, Sudan declared war on Israel. However, in the early 1970s, Sudan gradually shifted its stance and was supportive of the Camp David Accords. Relations between Sudan and Israel remain hostile. Israel accuses Sudan of serving as a supplier of Iranian arms to Hamas in Gaza.[20] Sudan has stated that it will never normalize relations with Israel[21] and blames Israel for air strikes on munitions facilities within Sudan.[20] Relations between Sudan and Israel are generally very hostile and marked by years of hostility. There are no formal diplomatic relations between the two nations. Under Israeli law, Sudan is an enemy nation and the Israeli government forbids it's citizens to travel to Sudan and several other countries in the Middle East, without special permission from the Israeli Government. Sudan considered Israel an enemy as well.

Rest of world[edit]


The People's Republic of China, is Sudan's biggest trade partner. China imports oil, from Sudan, and Sudan imports low cost items as well as armaments from China. China and Sudan enjoy a very robust and productive relationship in the fields of diplomacy, economic trade, and political strategic. The two nations established diplomatic relations on January 4, 1959 and have since become strongly close global allies. Education also has close ties, as Sudanese students go to China to learn Chinese, and Chinese students go to Sudan to learn Arabic.


Main article: India-Sudan relations


Malaysia has an embassy in Khartoum, while Sudan has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur.[22] Both countries are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Sudan has brotherly relations with Malaysia.


Relations between Pakistan and Sudan have been characterised as close, warm, brotherly, and cordial.[23] Both, Pakistan and Sudan, share the same religion as well as historical baggage of colonial rule. Both countries are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Like Minded Group, and the Group of 77 in the United Nations.

Bilateral relations strengthened when Sudan declared its support for Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistani wars, and Pakistan stood by the Sudan over its integrity and sovereignty, especially on its boundary disputes with both Egypt and South Sudan. Pakistan also contributed to the UN peacekeeping force in Sudan with 1,542 personnel and 92 observers during the Second Sudanese Civil War.[24]

Through various memorandums of understanding, the two cooperate in the fields of agriculture, healthcare and education. Pakistan is also supporting Sudan with higher education as more than five hundred students from Sudan study in the universities of Pakistan which is the highest number of Sudanese students to any foreign country.[25] In the past, Pakistan has offered medical training to Sudanese without any tuition fees.[26] Sudan donated generously in the relief efforts during earthquake in 2005 and floods in 2010 in Pakistan. In turn, Pakistan has sent aid to Sudan during drought and famine. UNMIS Pakistani contingent regularly holds free clinics in remote areas of Blue Nile State that are currently inaccessible by land.[27] In 2009, 37th such event was held near Ad-Damazin where over 1,500 patients were treated.[28][29]

Pakistan and Sudan regularly engage in collaborative dialogue at OIC summits to improve political stability in the Middle East and the Islamic World.[30] In 2014, President Mamnoon Hussain proposed a third round of Pakistan-Sudan Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) to enhance cooperation in trade, economic and defence sectors.[31]

South Korea[edit]

The two countries established diplomatic relations on April 13, 1977 and the requirement for all other agencies with intelligence-gathering and analysis functions in their charters to coordinate their activities with the ANSP was reaffirmed.[32]

United States[edit]

On November 3, 1997, the U.S. government imposed a trade embargo against Sudan and a total asset freeze against the Government of Sudan under Executive Order 13067. The U.S. believed the Government of Sudan gave support to international terrorism, destabilized neighboring governments, and permitted human rights violations, creating an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.[33]

On June 3, 2008, US - Sudan normalization talks broke down over the issue of conflicts in the oil-producing central region of Abyei.[34]

On February 17, 2015 the U.S. government issued a general license to amend US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions on Sudan. The general license authorizes the exportation and re-exportation to Sudan of “certain software, hardware and services incident to personal communications over the Internet.[35]


  1. ^ Chad in 'state of war' with Sudan
  2. ^ Sudan cuts Chad ties over attack
  3. ^ David H. Shinn, "Ethiopia: Coping with Islamic Fundamentalism before and after September 11" (last accessed 10 December 2008)
  4. ^ Alisha Ryu, "Border Demarcation with Sudan Causes Anger in Ethiopia", Voice of America website, 5 June 2008 (accessed 3 April 2009)
  5. ^ a b c d e
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ "Bulgarian-Sudanese Diplomatic Relations". Sudan Embassy in Bulgaria. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  8. ^ Embassy of Sudan in Turkey
  9. ^ Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Sudan
  10. ^ Sanders, Edmund (2009-03-06). "Sudan president dismisses international court's war crimes charges". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b Crilly, Rob (2009-03-16). "Leave your aid at the airport and go President alBashir tells foreign workers". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Sudan expels Oxfam and Médecins Sans Frontières from Darfur over war crimes threat to Omar al-Bashir 4 March 2009
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Sudanese-Iraq Relations
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^
  22. ^ Sudan Embassy In Kuala Lumpur
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ From Sudan: Thank you Pakistan!
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ 세계각국소개: 수단 (in Korean). National Intelligence Service (South Korea). Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  33. ^ U.S. Treasury - Sudan sanctions
  34. ^ U.S. Suspends Talks With Sudan Over Oil Town Row
  35. ^ US Government Eases Sanctions to Allow Export of Personal Communications Tools to Sudan

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