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Sudan says keen to promote defence cooperation with China

August 1, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Ministry of Defence on Wednesday expressed keenness to promote defence cooperation with China.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 1, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Parker Song)

State Defence Minister, Ali Mohamed Salem, on Wednesday, received a delegation from China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense in the presence of the Chinese military attaché in Khartoum.

During the meeting, Salem praised China’s contribution to the development projects in Sudan, expressing keenness to promote the strategic economic and defence partnerships with China.

He also praised China’s support to Sudan in the international forums.

For its part, the visiting delegation expressed China’s desire to engage in economic partnerships involving heavy industries sector in order to meet Sudan’s civil and defence needs.

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)