Negotiations with Sudan President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir

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Sudan has become one of Belarus’ most important partners on the African continent, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during the extended talks with Sudan President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir on 17 January.

“It is great that over the past years the relations between the two states have been advanced to a brand-new level. Sudan has become one of the most important partners on the African continent for us,” the President stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus pursues an independent foreign policy taking into account its national interests rather than the instructions of the global power centers. “We are in favor of developing relations with all states in the spirit of mutual respect, we are in favor of the non-interference in the internal affairs and the acknowledgement of different development paths,” he said.

According to the President, the main purposes of the visit to Sudan are to solidify the achievements and to determine new promising areas of joint work.

During the talks Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that Belarus is ready to participate in projects meant to develop the production sector and the infrastructure of Sudan.

“We already have reliable partners for exporting agricultural machines and trucks. Contact points have been found in agrarian and defense affairs. Nevertheless, a lot has yet to be done. Our job is to reinforce the high level of political trust with economic results. You are correct that it is time for us to shore up political cooperation with economy,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

In his words, Belarus will consider any options for taking part in projects to develop the production sector and infrastructure of Sudan. In particular, Belarus can directly supply haul trucks, road construction machines, utility vehicles, loaders, various modifications of tractors, trucks, and buses, industrial equipment, electrical equipment, optics and electronics. Several export loan schemes are available.

“Belarus is interested in establishing enterprises to jointly produce agricultural machines and trucks at premises of Sudanese factories. A tractor assembly project may be the first one of this kind. However, it will be competitive in comparison with direct import only with assistance of the Sudanese government,” the Belarusian head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also stated that Belarus has the solutions and technologies to improve Sudan’s food security. They can also bolster the country’s potential for crop farming, animal farming, irrigation, and dairy products manufacturing.

“The Belarusian experience of international cooperation in personnel training, science and technology, healthcare and pharmaceutics is worth noting. Various cooperation schemes can be chosen. Including the implementation of joint projects in Sudan for the sake of bolstering the social and economic potential of your country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

He remarked that Belarusian R&D products, services, and merchandise boast high quality and a better value for money than many competitors from other countries.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also believes that cooperation in geological exploration and the effective use of natural resources looks promising. “We are not talking only about oil and gas extraction but about rather new areas that can be useful in Africa. Such as artesian well drilling and the latest water purification technologies,” noted the Belarusian head of state.

Since Belarus-Sudan export and import are considerably misbalanced, Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested taking a closer look at merchandise export from Sudan to Belarus.

“Although we are separated by quite a distance, the fact will not hinder the efforts to bolster ties between our countries,” the Belarusian leader was convinced.

“We have agreed that when working on the roadmap of our cooperation, our action plan, the ministers of the two countries will submit at least 3-5 proposals for the signing of contracts in the near future,” the President said.

“Our strategic cooperation should be focused on practical results. It will not go beyond the talk stage without trade and economic projects. There should be concrete results,” Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined.

After the official negotiations Belarus and Sudan signed an agreement on friendly relations and cooperation. The document was signed by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Sudan President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir.

The heads of state also signed a joint statement. The two leaders reaffirmed the common commitment to the development and enhancement of the friendly ties between the two countries in various fields.

The two leaders pointed out the constructive nature of the bilateral relations development and confirmed the need to advance them. The signed agreement on friendly relations and cooperation will be the foundation for these efforts.

In his remarks for the mass media representatives after the talks, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Sudan is a reliable partner in Africa for Belarus. “President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir and I had productive negotiations. We discussed our future goals, the ways to advance our cooperation to a brand-new strategic level. We have discussed the prospects and major priorities of developing the Belarusian-Sudanese relations, determined concrete steps to expand them. Economic issues were in the spotlight too,” the head of state said.

Belarus is ready to become a strategic partner to promote the interests of Sudanese manufacturers in the vast territories of Europe and Asia. At the negotiations the sides emphasized the importance of deepening contacts in the humanitarian field, including education, healthcare, and science. Cooperation in the international arena was discussed.

“Our countries are united by the commitment to mutual respect and equal cooperation with absolutely all partners, the resolution to protect the right to independently choose a development model,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“I am grateful for the invitation to visit your beautiful and courageous country which has withstood such pressure from certain forces. The country has not only withstood this pressure, it is developing now,” the Belarusian leader stressed.