Home | News    Tuesday 23 December 2008

Sudan welcomes appointment of Russian special envoy

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December 22, 2008 (KHARTOUM) –The Sudanese government today lauded the decision by Russia to establish a new post for a special envoy earlier this month.

The Sudanese foreign ministry said in a statement that “this step shows the strength of the special bilateral relationship between Russia and Sudan”.

Khartoum further noted that the appointment “demonstrates Russian role in resolving conflicts and laying the foundations for international peace and security”.

In early December the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev tapped the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, Mikhail Margelov as the first special envoy to Sudan.

The appointment follows a visit by Sudan’s defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein to Moscow last month in which he invited Russian companies to invest in his country including the oil sector.

Margelov speaking to state media said that Sudanese authorities confirmed they could offer Russian companies engaged in the oil sector and railway construction in Sudan benefits to develop bilateral economic ties.

“We must expand mutually beneficial cooperation with African countries and set up a special body for that” he said.

The Sudanese foreign ministry said that the new envoy will boost efforts to achieve peace in the war ravaged region of Darfur.

Moscow and Khartoum enjoy strong military ties and the former has been one of the main arms suppliers to the East African nation.

Russia has been accused by Amnesty International (AI) of supplying arms to Sudan for use in Darfur but the Russian foreign ministry denied the charge.

The veto wielding member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) has blocked sanctions against Sudan over Darfur conflict along with China.

“Russia is committed to political stability in this country, and our position is that the crisis in Sudan can be resolved only by political means” Margelov said, adding that all unresolved conflicts in Sudan and other African countries should be addressed with help, but not direct intervention, from the global community.

There are around 120 Russian personnel as part of the peacekeepers deployed in South Sudan and four Mi-8 helicopters, since 2006.

(ST)

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