Sudan’s ties with Saudi Arabia are strained in the wake of Riyadh’s decision to bar its banks from dealing with its Sudanese counterparts.
The Saudi ban is likely part of increasing tensions due to Sudan’s continued close ties to Iran.
Over the few years there have been mounting signs of deteriorating relations between Khartoum and Riyadh.
Last August, Saudi Arabia closed its airspace to the plane carrying Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir on his way to Iran where he was scheduled to attend the inauguration ceremony of president-elect Hassan Rouhani thus forcing him and his delegation to return home.
Observers speculated that Sudan’s growing ties with Iran could have irked the Saudis prompting them to block Bashir’s flight.
Sudan has allowed Iranian warships to dock in Port Sudan three times over the last year and a half, drawing concern by the United States and its allies in the Gulf.
US sanctions dating back to the Clinton administration in 1997 bars any financial dealings with Sudan or institutions owned by Khartoum which complicates Sudan’s access to international financial markets and US dollars.