Sudan’s al-Bashir barred from Saudi airspace

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudan’s official news agency says authorities in Saudi Arabia barred an aircraft carrying longtime President Omar al-Bashir from entering the kingdom’s airspace.

The Sudan News Agency reported that the plane carrying al-Bashir and a number of other high-level Sudanese dignitaries was heading to Tehran, where the president was to attend the inauguration and swearing-in of Iran’s new President Hasan Rouhani on Sunday.

The Sudan news agency said that Sudanese authorities were waiting for an explanation from their Saudi counterparts as to why al-Bashir’s plane was denied access to cross its airspace.

Al-Bashir ultimately did not attend Rouhani’s inauguration.

Sudan media says that al-Bashir had chartered a Saudi plane for the trip. Saudi officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are regional foes.

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