Sudan denies island to be used as Turkish military base

Sudan has allayed Egyptian fears that the allocation of the historical harbour island of Suakin to Turkey will allow the island to be used as a naval base, Arab News said.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Ghandour told his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo that “There is no intention to establish a Turkish base, not in Suakin, nor any place in Sudan”.

“The Turkish president offered to renovate old houses and offered to allow its use as a tourist island for the common benefit of Sudan and Egypt,” he said.

Sudan recalled its ambassador to Cairo in the wake of heavy Egyptian media criticism of the country in January after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Sudan would “allocate” the island – a key transit point to Mecca for African Muslim pilgrims in Ottoman times – to Turkey for renovation.

Al-Ghandour said the Sudanese ambassador would return to Cairo soon, proclaiming the meeting “a historic point in the relations between the two countries”.