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Sudanese president to visit Algeria on Sunday

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October 6, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir will make a rare visit to Algeria on Sunday at the invitation of his counterpart Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika to discuss ways for strengthening bilateral ties and activating the joint cooperation agreements.

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Sudan’s President Omer Al-Bashir and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika inspect an honor guard at Khartoum Airport, on Mar 27, 2006. (AP Photo)

The visit was originally scheduled for last September but has been delayed at the request of the Algerian side and the two sides agreed to make it between 11 to 13 October.

Algeria is not a state party to the International Criminal Court (ICC) which has an outstanding arrest warrant for Bashir related to the conflict in Darfur.

A Sudanese diplomat told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that Bashir would meet with his accompanying ministers at the presidential palace on Wednesday to put the finishing touches of the visit and discuss its agenda.

According to the diplomat, Bashir’s accompanying delegation includes the ministers of presidency, foreign affairs, finance, investment, oil, minerals and the civil aviation, expecting that representatives from the businessmen and employers federation would join the delegation.

The same source pointed that the anticipated discussions in Algeria would focus on the economic issues besides the regional developments particularly the situation in Syria, saying the two countries largely share similar positions regarding the ongoing crisis there.

He said the discussion between the two sides would likely be crowned by announcing resumption of the flights of Air Algerie to Khartoum particularly as the latter has recently enhanced its fleet.

He also said that Algeria seeks to import Sudanese meat, pointing to Algeria’s investments in Sudan.

“Algeria began to import sesames from Sudan besides its participation in training activities and genetic [research] regarding poultry and some plants,” he added.

Sudan was accused by Algeria in the 1990’s of backing Islamists extremists during a wave of violence which hit the north African nation at the time. It came close to severing diplomatic ties on two occasions as a result.

But relations between the two countries warmed up particularly after Bashir removed the Islamist figure Hassan al-Turabi from the parliament speakership following a bitter power struggle.

There were reports in the past few years that Sudan has sought financial assistance from Algeria to weather the economic crisis resulting from the secession of South Sudan in 2011.

(ST)

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