November 26, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Saturday has arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a several-day visit to discuss ways to promote bilateral ties between the two nations in the various fields.
- Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (L) shakes hands with UAE vice-president and prime minister Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in Abu Dhabi on 22 February 2015 (WAM)
He was received upon his arrival at the presidential airport in Abu Dhabi by the UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Al Nahyan welcomed al-Bashir and his accompanying delegation at the VIP hall and discussed with them importance to enhance bilateral relations to serve the common interests of both countries.
Al-Bashir’s accompanying delegation included Minister of the Presidency Fadl Abdullah, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, Minister of Electricity and Water Resources Muataz Musa, Governor of Khartoum State Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein and Director of the Office of the President Taha osman al-Hussein.
It is noteworthy that al-Bashir’s visit to the UAE comes amid popular unrest and calls for civil disobedience following the announcement of several austerity measures that led to significant increase in general price level.
The East African nation managed to achieve a breakthrough in ties with UAE after a long period of strained relations over Khartoum’s close ties with Tehran.
UAE is in a long-standing territorial dispute with Iran over the three Gulf islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb.
Iran refuses international arbitration over the dispute and insists that its sovereignty over the islands is non-negotiable.
In 2014 , Sudanese authorities ordered the closure of Iranian cultural centre in the capital Khartoum, and other states in a move which was seen as gesture to the Arab Gulf states.
The estimated size of UAE investments in Sudan is approximately $11 billion of which about $5 billion are projects in progress while the rest are still in pre-execution phase.
In May 2015, Sudan said it offered UAE’s companies $59 billion investment opportunities mainly in agricultural projects.