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Turkey's Erdogan treads cautiously on Sudan, wary of betting on wrong horse

Having avoided a crisis in its ties with Sudan after Bashir’s ouster, Ankara is now refraining from taking sides in an escalating conflict between the country’s military leaders.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) is welcomed by his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir (2nd-L) and diplomats upon his arrival in Khartoum on December 24, 2017, for a two-day-official visit. / AFP PHOTO / ASHRAF SHAZLY (Photo credit should read ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images)
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been threading a cautious needle on the power struggle in Sudan, showing that he has learned some lessons from conflicts in Syria, Libya and Egypt. 

Like many other leaders, Erdogan has reached out to both sides of the crisis — Lt. Gen. Abdelfattah Al Burhan, Sudan’s de facto leader and head of its armed forces, and Lt. Gen. Mohammed "Hemedti" Dagalo, the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) — since deadly clashes erupted in mid-April. In phone calls on April 20, Erdogan urged the two military leaders to return to dialogue, and offered to mediate.

According to Sudanese media, Erdogan proposed direct negotiations between the two sides in Ankara, but both have refused.  

Ankara's balancing act

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