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Sudanese president holds talks with Saudi King

March 8, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir arrived on Friday in Saudi Arabia and immediately held talks with King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, Saudi state media reported.

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(From right to left) Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, Presidential affairs minister Bakri Hassan Salih, foreign minister Ali Karti, finance minister Ali Mahmood Abdel-Rassol (SPA)

There were no details on the nature of the talks except to say that it tackled bilateral ties and current regional events.

But it is likely that the focus of the discussions were on economic issues as Bashir was accompanied by finance minister Ali Mahmood Abdel-Rasool, oil minister Awad al-Jaz, agriculture minister Abdel Halim Ismail al-Muta’afi, minerals minister Kamal Abdel-Latif and central bank governor Mohamed Kheir al-Zubeir.

This week Bashir secured a $2 billion pledge from Qatar in the form of treasury bills and other investments.

Sudan is going through an economic crisis after the secession of the oil rich South which sharply cut its revenues and foreign currency supplies.

Last month Bashir said in a TV interview that while 2012 will be a difficult year for the economy, growing gold exports, cotton and sugar should compensate for the loss of the South’s oil, following last July’s country breakup. He also revealed that “friendly” countries are also providing help.

(ST)