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Libya and Sudan Strengthen Military Collaboration

Libya and Sudan have agreed to strengthen their military collaboration, according to the Sudanese news agency SUNA. They have also agreed, it says, that Sudan mediate between the country’s factions.

Agreement reportedly came during talks in Khartoum this week between the Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni and Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir in which both governments are said to have agreed to the need for a comprehensive political solution to the Libyan crisis involving all sides.

Sudan’s foreign minister, Ali Karti, is quoted as saying that his government had a plan for negotiations in Libya, which would be put to a meeting to be held in Khartoum shortly of Libya’s six neighbors. Agreement between them on what should happen in Libya was crucial to any plan succeeding, he said.

If such a meeting takes place, it would be yet another in a series of mediation attempts to end the Libyan divide. Algeria is supposed to organizing a meeting to mediate peace in Libya and the U.N. is continuing its efforts within the country to ensure dialogue. There have already been four previous meeting of neighboring states – the last one, in Cairo, being held in late August.

SUNA also quoted Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Al-Dairi as saying that Libya wanted to develop both military cooperation with Sudan and a number of other Arab states in order to build up a unified national army as well as closer investment ties.

For his part, Sudanese Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein insisted that Sudan rejected any military intervention in Libya, declaring that it would complicate the situation.

His statement came just days after the Libyan Army Chief-of-Staff, Major-General Abdul Razzaq Nazhuri, claimed that he had received intelligence reports “confirming” that Sudanese officers had been providing training in Misrata to opposition forces to pilot helicopters.

Last month, Thinni, who appointed Nazhuri as chief of staff, accused Sudan of sending weapons and fighters to help Libya Dawn and even threatened to break off diplomatic relations with Khartoum. Sudan vehemently denied the accusations and has since been trying to mend fences.

Referring to the accusations, Karti said that the two sides had now agreed that the allegations that led to them were false.


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