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Envoy: Russia to support Sudan to overcome current difficulties

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir [Twitter]
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir [Twitter]

Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, said yesterday that his country will support the Sudanese people and their leadership represented by President Omar Al-Bashir to overcome the current phase.

Bogdanov made the remarks during a meeting with the Sudanese Vice President Lt. Gen. Ahmed Awad Ibn-Auf held in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Bogdanov stressed that Moscow has strong political will to strengthen its relations with Sudan, especially in the economic, political and military fields.

He expressed Russia's confidence in the Sudanese leader's ability to overcome the economic difficulties faced by the country.

Bogdanov noted that Russia will work to strengthen the defence capabilities of Sudan and will contribute to training the Sudanese military and civilian personnel.

READ: Hundreds protest in Khartoum; as Sudan's new government is sworn in

Meanwhile, the Sudanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Osama Faisal, said the Russian official's visit to Sudan represents an important opportunity for consultation between the two countries on a number of bilateral issues and issues of common interest.

Faisal pointed out that "the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Dardiri Mohammed Ahmed, will visit Russia next April to attend the Russian-Arab forum, where he will hold consultations with the Russian leadership, and the Russian Foreign Ministry on a number of bilateral issues."

Sudanese-Russian relations have been improving especially in the economic field where the volume of trade exchange between the two countries increased from $153 million in 2016 to $325 million in 2017.

Protesters have staged almost daily demonstrations since December, demanding Al-Bashir, who came to power in a 1989 military coup, step down. The protests were instigated by the high cost of essential goods including bread but have turned into a sustained campaign against Al-Bashir and his government.

Security forces have used tear gas and sometimes live fire to disperse protesters. Activists say nearly 60 people have been killed in the protests, while the official death toll is 32, including three security personnel.

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