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Sudan, Russia agree to promote military cooperation

President Putin shakes hands with President al-Bashir at the Black Sea resort of Sochi on 23 Nov 2017 (Photo Kremlin)

June 5, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan and Russia have agreed to forge strategic partnerships in all fields particularly the military domain in order to achieve interests of the two countries.

On Tuesday, the Sudanese army chief of staff Lt Gen Kamal Abdel-Maarouf al-Mahi met the Russian Ambassador to Khartoum Vladimir Zheltov in the presence of the Russian Military Attaché, Vladimir Gerasimenko.

Al-Mahi praised Russia’s support to Sudan in international forums as well as its efforts to achieve peace and stability in the country.

He expressed Sudan’s keenness to promote its relations with Russia, pointing to Moscow’s continued economic and military support to Khartoum.

For his part, the Russian Ambassador expressed optimism over the future prospects of relations between the two countries, describing it as promising.

He described Sudan as an important African country and an old friend of Russia, expressing his country’s keenness to promote relations with Sudan in all fields particularly the military domain.

Zheltov also expressed his country’s readiness to provide the necessary assistance to enhance bilateral relations and forge economic, political and military partnerships.

During his visit to Russia in November 2017, President Omer al-Bashir proposed to President Vladimir Putin to build a military base on the Red Sea coast and to re-equip the Sudanese army with the Russian weapons including SU-30 fighter jets and surface-to-air missiles.

Politically, Russia is seen as a major ally of the government of al-Bashir that faces isolation from the West. However, economic cooperation between the two countries has remained very low, with a trade balance that does not exceed $400 million.

In December 2015, Sudan and Russia signed 14 cooperation agreements in different domains, including oil, minerals and banks.

(ST)