Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Sudanese counterpart Omar Al-Bashir on Saturday, with both leaders pledging to develop military cooperation in the near future, the Sudan Tribune has reported.
"We have good opportunities to develop relations in a wide range of sectors, including defence technology," said Putin. "This cooperation is developing." He noted a substantial growth in trade and an increase in Russian wheat exports to Sudan.
Al-Bashir hailed Russia for encouraging shifts in defence technology and military cooperation: "We see big exchanges between specialists in Russia and Sudan," he told Putin. "A large number of Russian specialists work in our country and this is why we praise highly the role that your country plays in preparing Sudanese military personnel."
The presidents are expected to meet again in September to discuss ways to develop agricultural cooperation and enhance tourism. Al-Bashir has also called for the establishment of a Russian bank in Sudan to support further financial integration.
The two leaders last met in November in the Russian city of Sochi, with both expressing a desire to enhance military ties. At the time, Al-Bashir even offered to construct an airbase for Russia on the Red Sea coast.
The government in Khartoum hopes to enhance Russian investments in Sudan, especially in the gold, oil and gas fields, and to use the income to fund the modernisation of its army's weapons.
Al-Bashir was in Moscow to attend the final of the 2018 World Cup Final. He used his trip to pay a visit to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during which he vowed to support Palestinian unity.