Sudan’s president to visit Russia next summer, rare visit to outside world

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is welcomed by supporters as he arrives in Khartoum from Johannesburg on June 15, 2015 /AFP Photo

NAIROBI – Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir will visit Russia next summer,” announced on Saturday Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour without further details about the exact date of the trip .

Several weeks ago Ghandour had said that Bashir would pay a visit to Moscow by the end of 2016, but the visit didn’t take place. No explanation has been made for the postponement of the visit.

“Al-Bashir’s visit to Russia will be at the beginning of the summer, it aims to strengthen bilateral relations and cementing economic and political cooperation,” further said the foreign minister in statements reported by the official news agency SUNA.

He added that a number of agreements will be signed during the visit.

The top diplomat underscored that the Sudanese Russian Ministerial Committee is one of the most active committees, and that the presidential visit will consolidate the gains made at the level of the joint ministerial committee.

On 5 December 2016, the 4th session of the joint Sudanese-Russian High-level Committee met in Moscow and discussed a number of issues including minerals investments.

The foreign minister pointed to Russian stance supporting his government during the past years and described its support for the Sudan as “strong and unchanged”. “Russia, is one of the chief supporters of the Sudan in the Security Council and international organizations,” he further said.

Politically, Russia is seen as a major ally of the government of Omer al-Bashir that faces isolation from the West. However, economic cooperation between the two countries has remained very low, with a trade balance that does not exceed $400 million.

In December 2015, Sudan and Russia signed 14 cooperation agreements in different domains, including oil, minerals and banks.

The agreements also include a concession contract between Sudan and the Russian Rus Geology to prospect for oil in Sudan’s Bloc E57 and another accord for the geological mapping of the Jebal Moya area, North Kordofan State.

©Alleastafrica and ST

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