Sudan worried over diplomatic missteps on South Sudan By REEM ABBAS in Khartoum | Thursday, May 17 2012 at 17:34
Sudan's parliament has asked the government to take the country's foreign policy seriously and be "cleverer" on the international stage.
This is in the context of diplomatic setbacks the country has suffered recently especially in its relations with arch-rival South Sudan.
Earlier, Sudan's foreign ministry said statements made by Sudanese officials during the conflict with South Sudan were reflecting negatively on the country's foreign policy.
When Sudan President Omar al-Bashir referred to the South Sudanese ruling party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, as "insects", Juba diplomats quickly likened this to the term "cockroaches", a word used intensively by Hutu extremists during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Sudan Foreign minister Ali Karti pointed out the impact of this insensitive comment during the parliamentary session, along with another references made by Mr Bashir, saying it was interpreted as a call for slavery.
According to Mahdi Ibrahim, a parliamentarian who recently visited a number of East African countries in a Sudanese delegation, South Sudan has taken the diplomatic lead ahead of Khartoum.
"The diplomatic battles should be given their right as much as military battles," said Mr Ibrahim, who also observed that Sudanese embassies in African countries lack resources and staffers and were suffering economic hardships.
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