August 22, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti said that the Sudanese-Chinese ties have become more than just political relations, calling on Beijing to continue its role in pushing Juba to implement the cooperation agreements they signed with Khartoum last year.
- Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Karti, who is currently visiting Beijing, said in press statements to China News Agency (Xinhua) that his talks with the Chinese officials were excellent and covered all aspects of cooperation between the two countries as well as regional and international issues.
The Sudanese official pointed that his talks with tackled a new aspect of cooperation he described as “human communication”, saying that this field would allow both countries to explore the culture of the other side through training and exchange of visits by art groups and scholarships.
He added that the two sides were concerned about Beijing’s oil investments in Sudan following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, pointing to the subsequent problems between the two countries and the threat it posed to the these investments.
The minister noted however, said that Juba took some positive steps and it seems that it is embarking on a new policy following the recent changes within its ranks, pointing to the progress which was made in this week’s meeting of the joint security committee on the issues of border demarcation and the demilitarized zone.
On Thursday, delegations from Sudan and South Sudan concluded two-day security meetings in Khartoum which focused mainly on handling claims of supporting rebels who are fighting central governments in both nations.
Karti praised the Chinese role in improving relations between Khartoum and Juba and recalled its warning to both governments not to reach the point of shutting down the pipeline, stressing that Chinese pressure on South Sudan yielded the recent positive developments.
China, heavily invested in the oil sector of both nations, has found itself caught between its long-time ally in Khartoum in the north and its new partner in the South, which inherited three quarters of Sudan’s oil output after the split.
The Chinese see themselves in partnership with north and south Sudan in oil production and therefore they recently stepped into the row demanding the Sudanese government to postpone for at least two weeks the deadline by which it will shut down the pipelines carrying oil from South Sudan.
The Sudanese official further said that his visit to China was intended to discuss the new policies adopted by South Sudan and to ensure its sustainability in order to maintain the oil flow and to secure the Chinese and Sudanese investments, adding that the new policies would serve the interests of Sudan, South Sudan, and China.
He also said that they came to China to ask the Chinese government and companies for more investments in the oil industry, mining, and agriculture, expressing relief to the positive response he received from officials whom he met.
The Sudanese official news agency (SUNA) reported that Karti met with the Chinese state councilor Yang Jiechi as well as his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.