Country Listing

Sudan Table of Contents


Relations with Other Arab States

Other than Egypt and Libya, Sudan's most important relations with Arab countries were with the oil-producing states of the Persian Gulf, in particular Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. After 1974 these three countries became important sources of foreign economic assistance and private investments. During the economic crises of the 1980s, Saudi Arabia provided Sudan with military aid, concessionary loans, outright financial grants, and oil at prices well below the cost of petroleum in the international market. By 1990 foreign capital transfers had become the Sudanese government's most important source of revenue.

Despite its economic dependence, the Bashir regime refused to support the Saudi position during the Persian Gulf crisis of 1990-91. Other than the receipt of a small quantity of Iraqi military supplies, which the Bashir government used in its prosecution of the war in the south, its motive for its pro-Iraq stance remained obscure. In fact, relations between Baghdad and Khartoum, while correct, were limited in 1990. In the spring of that year, the Iraqi government had ignored official protests from Bashir and met with representatives of the banned Sudanese Baath Party and other opposition groups. The decision to side with Iraq adversely affected Sudan's relations with Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies. Riyadh retaliated by suspending all grants, project loans, and concessionary oil sales, measures that had a devastating impact on Sudan's budget and economy. After Iraq was defeated, Bashir and other RCC-NS members tried to repair the damaged relations with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but as of mid1991 , these countries had not resumed their former largesse to Sudan.

Data as of June 1991