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Sudan, Iran sign military cooperation agreement

March 7, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan and Iran signed a military cooperation agreement at the end of a second round of negotiations between defence ministers of the two countries.

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Abdelarhim M. Hussein

Sudanese and visiting Iranian delegations on March 4 started talks on military cooperation between the two countries in order to bolster bilateral military relations. The two countries started talks on military cooperation in January 2007.

The two countries signed an agreement on cooperation in the fields of technology, education, science, industry and exchange of expert delegations as well as establishment of military cooperation commission.

The agreement was signed by Iran’s Defence Minister Mustafa Mohamed Najjar and his Sudanese counterpart Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein.

The two sides underlined development and consolidation of defensive ties between Iran and Sudan and called it an important step toward strengthening peace, stability and security in the region and international arena.

Abdulrahim in a joint press conference with Iranian Minister of Defence today Friendship Hall said that the visit of Iranian Minister is a chance to push the relations of cooperation between the two countries to advanced prospects particularly in the areas of technology and science pointing to the distinguished political relations between Khartoum and Tehran

In response to a question about Sudan’s importation of weapons, Abdelrahim said: "There is no [UN] decision to ban Sudan from importing armament, we import weapons from all countries except Western countries."

The UN resolution 1591 issued by the UN Security Council imposes arms embargo on Darfur region. A panel of experts in April 2007 recommends that the Security Council expand the arms embargo to the entire territory of the Sudan.

Najjar said, "Expansion of ties with Islamic and African countries, especially brotherly and friendly country of Sudan, is on top of Iran’s foreign policy agenda.

"Iran supports independence and sovereignty of Sudan and condemns enemies interferences in domestic affairs of the country and expresses its readiness for cooperation in different fields," he concluded.

(ST)