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Sudan, UAE agree to promote economic cooperation

May 9, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have discussed ways to promote economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (L) shakes hands with UAE vice-president and prime minister Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in Abu Dhabi on 22 February 2015 (WAM)

On Monday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Nai’im discussed with the UAE’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Mohamed Sharaf and his accompanying delegation mutual investment opportunities as well as the exchange of economic and technical expertise.

The meeting comes as the Sudanese government is facing strong pressure from the opposition parties for its participation in the Saudi-led alliance which wages war against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Khartoum was criticised for the poor financial support provided by the oil-rich Gulf monarchies to the country despite its significant involvement in the Yemeni conflict.

The criticism prompted Sudan’s State Defence Minister Ali Mohamed Salim last week to reveal that his ministry is currently evaluating pros and cons of the participation in the Yemen war in order to decide on it soon.

Also, the Saudi ambassador in Khartoum was quick to hold a press conference to say his country would sign a number of defence and economic cooperation agreements with Sudan very soon.

Following the meeting, al-Nai’im told reporters the visit of the UAE delegation comes as the economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries is growing steadily.

He pointed out that leaders of both countries seek further cooperation and mutual investments, pointing to Sudan’s vast investment opportunities and President Omer al-Bashir initiative to achieve Arab food security.

For his part, Sharaf underscored his government desire to promote economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

He expressed his country’s keenness to cooperate with Sudan to explore more investment opportunities and increase the volume of trade exchange between the two brotherly countries.

Last March, the official news agency SUNA said the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) has received a deposit of some 1.4 billion U.S. dollars from the UAE).

However, no statement had been issued from the UAE government or the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, which SUNA said was the agency that has provided the investment deposit, to confirm the provision of the deposit.