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Al-Bashir to attend China-African summit in Beijing

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August 21, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese embassy in Beijing said arrangements have been completed for the participation of President Omer al-Bashir in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit next month.

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, right, arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. (Photo AP/Ng Han Guan)

Last June, al-Bashir received an invitation from the Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the FOCAC Summit in Beijing in September 2018.

Sudan’s Ambassador to Bejing Ahmed Shaor said his embassy had cancelled the Eid Al-Dha Holiday in order to enable its employees to arrange for al-Bashir’s visit and prepare for the meeting of the joint Chinese-Sudanese ministerial committee which coincides with the FOCAC Summit.

He told the official news agency SUNA on Monday that the Summit aims to coordinate among the Belt and Road Initiative, the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the African Union 2063 agenda and the development strategies of the various African countries.

He said the government delegation for the joint ministerial committee meeting includes Finance, Oil and Gas and Roads and Bridges Ministers as well as the State Foreign Minister.

According to the Ambassador, a technical delegation including Under-Secretaries of the Foreign, Oil and Gas, Minerals, Animal Wealth, Agriculture Ministries as well as the Central Bank of Sudan would also participate in the meeting of the joint ministerial committee.

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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