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Sudan’s al-Bashir to visit China in September

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June 8, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir has received an invitation from the Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Beijing in September 2018.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 1, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Parker Song)

Al-Bashir on Wednesday met with the Chinese Ambassador to Khartoum Li Lianhe who handed him a written letter from the Chinese President.

During the meeting, al-Bashir described his country’s relations with China as strategic, saying Sudan posed as China’s gateway to Africa.

He pointed out that China has implemented a number of projects in Sudan, saying his country would also benefit from the Silk Road Project Initiative.

For his part, the Chinese envoy stressed his country’s keenness to promote relations and enhance cooperation with Sudan in all fields to achieve joint interests.

He expressed his confidence that relations between Sudan and China will witness further progress in the future, praising Sudan’s efforts to promote China’s relations with the African countries.

In September 2015, al-Bashir participated in China’s celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Last April, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said the Chinese President has accepted an invitation extended to him by al-Bashir to visit Sudan during this year.

China has been Sudan’s largest foreign investor, particularly in oil and telecommunications after western firms shunned the East African nation due to conflicts and sanctions.

It has invested more than $20 billion in Sudan mostly in the oil sector during the past two decades. Beijing provides low-interest loans and weapons transfers in return for oil.

Sudan hopes to attract new Chinese investments after Beijing had refrained from implementing a number of projects agreed upon with Khartoum following the latter’s failure to settle its debts.

Sudan’s total debt to China is estimated at $ 10 billion, accounting for about one-fifth of Sudan’s estimated $53 billion foreign debt.

(ST)

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