Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, will pay an official visit to Ankara on Thursday, August 12, chairing a high-level delegation. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and al-Burhan will discuss bilateral relations, joint cooperation opportunities and regional issues.
According to the news of Sudan News Agency (SUNA), it has been reported that the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council will conduct the visit accompanied by the ministers of finance, defense, agriculture, health and higher education, upon the invitation of President Erdoğan. In this context, according to another news of SUNA, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok held a meeting with the relevant public officials in order to discuss the issues that the Sudanese delegation will discuss during their visit to Turkey. Accordingly, it was stated at the meeting that the agreements expected to be negotiated in Ankara were reviewed, and other issues, including 22 agreements in the public and private sectors, which were previously signed between the two governments, were also discussed. According to the news of Anadolu Agency, these areas are education, agriculture, industry, trade, iron and steel industry, mining and oil exploration activities, and energy and health.
Sudan’s Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Hafez Ibrahim Abdunnebi, who is in the delegation to visit Turkey under the leadership of al-Burhan on Thursday, emphasized that Sudan’s meat export, which was 4,000 tons last year, increased by 4 times in the first half of this year to reach 16,000 tons. He emphasized that the meat processing facility built and operated by the Turkish company Cantek contributed greatly to this success. In addition, Minister Abdunnebi stated that they preferred to establish a modern meat processing facility rather than trade in livestock, and emphasized that live animals exported to Saudi Arabia were sent back due to their weak immune systems, and therefore Sudan was seriously harmed. From this point of view, he stated that they would hold a meeting with the relevant people during their visit to Turkey for the establishment of factories similar to the investments made by Cantek.
Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, paid a visit to Turkey on May 27, accompanied by a delegation of ministers of agriculture, energy, livestock, transportation and urban development. During his visit, the Sudanese delegation headed by Dagalo held a meeting with the Vice President of the Republic of Turkey, Fuat Oktay, and other Turkish officials. At this meeting, updating of the 22 agreements Turkey signed with the then Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir and regional developments were discussed. In addition, at the press conference held after the meetings between the delegations, Fuat Oktay and Dagalo drew attention to the historical and current importance of bilateral relations and stated that mutual visits would continue.
Relations between Turkey and Sudan have a deep-rooted historical, political and economic background. Relations between the two countries have been developing especially for the last 20 years and have been deepening since the signing of 22 agreements and memorandums of understanding during the official visit of President Erdoğan to Sudan in December 2017. These agreements include cooperation in many fields such as health, agriculture, industry, trade, energy, iron and steel industry and mining. In addition to the Turkish Embassy, there are the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in the field of development, the Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) in the field of cultural diplomacy, Maarif Foundation schools in the field of education, and Anadolu Agency in the field of media in Sudan. In addition to these, the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) provides scholarships to hundreds of Sudanese students every year to receive undergraduate, graduate and doctoral education in Turkey within the scope of the “Turkey Scholarship Programme.”
Based on these, it can be said that two main issues will be discussed in the visit of the Sudanese delegation headed by al-Burhan. The first of these is the political, economic, social and cultural relations between Turkey and Sudan. The second will be the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Sudan-Ethiopia border crisis and other regional developments. As a matter of fact, it was stated that similar issues were discussed during Dagalo’s visit to Turkey on May 27 and that cooperation opportunities would be discussed in the meetings to be held in the coming period.