March 3, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussein al-Shahristani on Monday expressed his country’s willingness to supply Sudan with crude oil and assist in the construction of a new oil refinery.
- Deputy Prime Minister for energy Hussain al-Shahristani speaks during a ceremony for the opening of new units at the Basra refinery in Basra province, March 1, 2014. (REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani)
Shahristani said in a statement released by his office as carried by Iraqi media that Baghdad is keen on supporting the Sudanese people and will stand by their side politically and economically.
The Iraqi official made the statement after his meeting with the head of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Gen Mohamed Atta Al-Mawla Abbas who heads a government delegation that includes the minister of oil Makkawi Mohamed Awad, director of the oil marketing company and a number of experts.
Abbas visited Iraq as an envoy from Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir.
"The two sides discussed ways of strengthening relations between the two countries and the mechanism of exporting Iraqi oil to Sudan. The Sudanese delegation valued the position of the Iraqi government in supporting the stability of the brotherly country and boosting economic and political relations," the statement by Shahristani’s office read.
Last month, Iraq’s ambassador in Khartoum Salih Hussein Ali al-Tamimi said that Baghdad wants to cooperate with Sudan in oil sector and engage in investments by focusing on the refining sector through the construction of a new refinery in the country.
Last year Sudan said that Iraq agreed to sell it oil on credit and that technical details would be agreed on at a later time.
A severe fuel shortage hit the Sudanese capital late last year which the government attributed to delay in receiving gasoline shipments from abroad.
The East African nation been struggling to meet local demand for diesel and other oil products since losing most of its crude output with the secession of South Sudan in 2011.
The loss of access to oil reserves in the south also sharply curtailed its revenues and inflow of hard currency needed to pay for imports of basic commodities including fuel.