April 3, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – At the end of a one-day visit of Qatar’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Khartoum on Wednesday, Sudan announced receiving a $1 billion central bank deposit from the rich Gulf state.
- Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir (R) welcomes Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as he arrives at Khartoum Airport for an official visit April 2, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Al-Thani who became Emir of Qatar in June 2013 after his father’s abdication received a warm welcome in Khartoum where he held talks with Sudan’s president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir before to leaving for Algeria.
At the end of bilateral talks between the two delegations, the Sudanese finance minister Badr Al-Deen Mahmoud announced that Qatar deposited $1 billion in Sudan’s central bank.
Mahmoud said that the two countries agreed to boost two existing projects of Al-Diar real estate , and Al-Hassad Food, adding that the two sides agreed to solve the problems facing the Qatari investments in the country.
The finance minister added the talks focused on several areas of joint cooperation, disclosing agreement on establishing Kenana sluiceway project besides the agricultural production and manufacturing project.
He said they would hand over its feasibility study to his Qatari counterpart soon.
Economic experts predicted the Qatari deposit would positively impact on Sudan’s economy and reduce the US dollar’s exchange rate against the Sudanese currency.
The US dollar sold at 8.65 Sudanese pounds (SDG) in the black market on Tuesday. The official exchange rate is around 5.7 pounds to the dollar.
Sudan has been struggling with what was described as an economic shock following the loss of the oil-rich south in July 2011. Oil revenues constituted the majority of Sudan’s exports, national income and source of hard currency.
The governor of the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS), Abdel-Rahman Hassan Abdel-Rahman, said on Wednesday that the visit of the Qatari emir underscores the strong ties between the two countries, pointing to the role of both leaders in promoting distinguished relations to serve the common interests.
He added those ties have positively impacted the banking sector in the two countries besides promoting economic ties and the joint investment and development projects.
Sudan’s foreign minister, Ali Karti, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the visit didn’t discuss strained ties between Doha and other Gulf states, pointing to the continued mediation efforts to resolve differences among those states.
On March 5, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar, accusing Doha of failing to abide by an accord not to interfere in each others’ internal affairs. Qatar denies the charge.
He added the Qatari Emir came to Sudan at the invitation of Bashir, noting it was a successful visit and achieved its objectives in enhancing the growing ties between the two countries.
Karti further pointed that the visit was arranged in advance and had nothing to do with the recent political developments in the region.
The foreign minister announced that Bashir had issued a decree exempting all Qatari citizens from obtaining entry visas to Sudan as of Wednesday in order to strengthen and promote bilateral ties.
He asserted that arrangements and contacts with the Qatari side were underway in order to address the causes which prevented Sudanese citizens from being granted entry visas to Qatar, saying the Qatari side was responding to requests in this regard.
Karti stressed that the two sides discussed Qatar’s desire to invest in areas of tourism, electricity, and real estate besides implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), further pointing that Qatar had continued to finance and implement development projects in Darfur.
The Qatari Emir received the Necklace of Honour from Bashir besides other gifts including birds, rare African parrots, and authentic Arabian camels.