The president, known for his fiery public speeches, has been relatively quiet in recent weeks
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir greets demonstrators in Khartoum on October 24. Bashir travelled to Saudi Arabia on Monday for a checkup after a throat infection, his office said, assuring the public for the second time in two weeks that he was in good health. © Ashraf Shazly - AFP/File
The president, known for his fiery public speeches, has been relatively quiet in recent weeks
AFP
Last updated: November 5, 2012

Sudan's Bashir to Saudi for "normal" medical check

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir travelled to Saudi Arabia on Monday for a checkup after a throat infection, his office said, assuring the public for the second time in two weeks that he is in good health.

"The president of the republic will do a normal medical review connected with an infection in his throat," the official SUNA news agency said, quoting a statement from Bashir's office.

The president is "in good health and is carrying out all his presidential activities normally," it added.

Bashir's press secretary Emad Sayed Ahmed in late October denied rumours the 68-year-old was sick. "During Ramadan he had minor surgery and it is finished. There is nothing now," Ahmed said at the time.

He gave no details of the operation which he said took place during the holy Muslim fasting month, which was observed from mid-July to mid-August.

The president, known for his fiery public speeches, has been relatively quiet in recent weeks, making his fewer orations more restrained.

Bashir seized power in a 1989 military coup which overthrew a democratically elected government and established an Islamist regime.

He was declared the winner of a multi-party presidential ballot in 2010 but European monitors said the vote failed to reach international standards.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Sudan's far-western Darfur region where a rebellion began in 2003.

Although SUNA described Bashir's visit to Saudi Arabia as private, it also said he would meet King Abdullah and senior officials.

The trip follows criticism in the Saudi press about last week's call in Port Sudan by two Iranian warships.

Relations between Tehran and Riyadh have been tense for years over many political and security issues.

The ships stopped at Sudan's Red Sea port after Khartoum accused Israel of sending four radar-evading aircraft to strike a military factory in the heart of the capital Khartoum at midnight on October 23.

The factory compound exploded and burst into flames, and speculation followed that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.

Sudan denied Iran had any involvement in the factory.

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