In 1989 coup accelerated the trend in Sudan's in Sudan foreign policy of turning away from traditional allies, such as Egypt and United Stattes . This trend had begun following the overthrow of Nimeiri's govt, in 1985. As prime minister, one of sadiq al-Mahdi's foreign policy objectives was to ease the strain that had characterised relations with Ethiopia, Libya, and the Soviet Union during the later years of Nimeiri's rule. Neverthless the country's need to for foreign economic assistance to deal with the consequences of drought and civil war generally curtailed the extent to which foreign relations realigned .
The Persian Gulf crisis and subsequent war in 1991caught Sudan in an awkward position. Although Khartoum officially stated position was of neutrality, the unofficial govt. position was of sympathy for Iraq, stemming largely from a sense of appreciation for the military assistance Baghdad had provided since 1989. Sudan's failure to join anti-Iraq coalition infuriated Saudi Arabia, which retaliated by suspending much-needed-economic assistance, and Egypt ,which responded by providing aid to opponent of the Bashir regime.After the RCC-NS sent the deputy leader of the NIF to the Islamic conference in Baghdad that iraqi president Saddam Hussayn organised in Jan 1991,Egypt withdraw its ambassador from Khatoum. The RCC-NS efforts to maintain close relations with Iraq resulted in Sudan's regional isolation.