Sudan recalls ambassador to Qatar for 'consultations' following Al Jazeera closure
Sudan's ambassador to Qatar has returned to Khartoum for consultations, the foreign ministry said on Saturday, with the envoy set to fly back to Doha soon.
The diplomat was summoned "to Khartoum for consultations and...will leave to Doha in the coming hours" to resume his work, Sudan's ministry said.
Earlier in the day, a spokesperson for Qatar's foreign ministry denied claims on social media the ambassador had been recalled and said it received official notification only that he was on "short leave".
Sudan's decision to summon its ambassador came after the country abruptly shut down the office of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera on Thursday without giving a reason.
"The decision also includes the withdrawal of the work permits for the correspondents and personnel of the Al Jazeera network starting from now," said the station, which regularly broadcasts footage of demonstrations in Sudan.
No written decision was given to the bureau's director, the channel said.
"They told us that the military council had decided to close the Al Jazeera network's office and withdraw its licence, Al-Musallami Al-Kabbashi, the director of the station's Khartoum office told AFP.
"We gave them the material and the office," he added.
The news channel, which regularly broadcasts footage of demonstrations that have taken place in Sudan since December, is funded by Doha, a close ally of former president Omar al-Bashir.
Sudan's military in April ousted Bashir after months-long protests against his authoritarian, three-decade rule.
The ruling military council's head Abdelfattah al-Burhan is currently in Saudi Arabia after travelling for a string of summits. He has already visited Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
The deputy head of the council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also visited Riyadh in May and met Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia and allies including the UAE and Egypt, broke off diplomatic ties with Doha in 2017, imposing a land, air and sea blockade of the tiny Gulf state after accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar has strongly denied the claims.
The Saudi-led states in 2017 demanded Qatar close Al Jazeera, The New Arab and several other media outlets as part of a list of 13 conditions to end the crisis.
Sudan's generals, backed by key Arab powers, have resisted calls from African and Western governments to hand over the reins of power.
Thousands of protesters have remained camped out in front of the army headquarters in Khartoum to pressure the military to cede power.
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