February 18, 2017 (ABU DHABI) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Saturday has held talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, focusing on bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of common concern.
Al-Bashir, who arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday in an official visit, was received at the airport by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and several members of the diplomatic community.
According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the meeting between the two sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation on political, economic, development and cultural fields besides regional and international issues of common concern.
The Sudanese President stressed his country’s keenness to promote ties with UAE for the benefit of the two nations, expressing appreciation for the role played by the UAE in support of the Arab issues and on preserving security, stability and identity of the region.
For his part, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi expressed his delight for the recent development of fraternal ties between the two countries in light of the growing attention from President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his keenness to support and develop these relations to serve common interests of the two countries and the two brotherly peoples.
He underscored UAE’s strong ties with Sudan, pointing to the historical and economic relations between the two countries besides their cooperation to defend interests of Arab nation against foreign aggression.
The Sudanese President was accompanied by the Minister of Presidential Affairs Fadl Abdalla Fadl, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, Minister of Investment Mudathir Abdel-Ghani, Minister of Social Welfare Mashai’r al-Dawalab and Minister of State and Director of the Office of the President Taha Osman al-Hussein.
It is noteworthy that Al-Bashir will attend the inauguration ceremony of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2017) that will kick off in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Sudan 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 a gesture to the Arab Gulf states.
The estimated size of UAE investments in Sudan is $11 billion approximately, 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.