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Saudi Arabia vows further economic and defence cooperation with Sudan

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May 6, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Saudi Ambassador to Khartoum Ali Hassan Ja’afar Sunday said his country would sign a number of defence and economic cooperation agreements with Sudan pledging more investments to raise trade exchange between the two countries.

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King Salman receives Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, on 30 June 2016 (SPA Photo)

The ambassador’s statements come less than a week after the Sudanese State Defence Minister Ali Ahmed Salim said the army is assessing the participation of the Sudanese troops in the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In press statements on Sunday, Ja’afar said Riyadh would sign economic and defence agreements with Sudan soon, adding these agreements would include “unlimited Saudi investments” to increase the trade exchange between the two countries.

It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab investor in Sudan with more than 590 projects.

In 2016, Saudi investments in Sudan increased to $15bn compared to $11bn in 2015.

The Saudi ambassador underlined his country is enjoying its best-ever relationship with Sudan despite the tendentious attempts carried out by some to poison these ties.

“It is strong and deeply rooted relations and it would witness significant developments on popular and official levels during the next period,” he said.

He pointed out that the recent Tweets carrying insults to Sudan which have been attributed to Saud al-Qahtani, a media advisor to the royal court, are untrue and fabricated.

He added these Tweets were part of an organized campaign that aims to harm the Sudanese-Saudi relations.

The Sudanese army has been participating in the Saudi-led military coalition since 2015 in a regional effort to back the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after he was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

However, following recent reports about the death of dozens of Sudanese troops and Houthi’s threats to launch missile attacks against Sudan, several legislators called last week to withdraw the forces from Yemen.

Also, critics point that several countries members of the Saudi-led coalition did not send troops to Yemen. Others say Saudi Arabia and UAE provides financial support to other countries but not Sudan despite its difficult financial situation.

Last October, President Omer al-Bashir thanked Saudi Arabia and UAE for their strong support to the lift of 20-year U.S. economic embargo. The two countries vowed to continue supporting Sudan removal from the list of countries supporting terrorism.

(ST)

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