Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s aide Nafia Ali Nafia will lead a governmental delegation to Moscow in late October, Mikhail Margelov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for cooperation with African countries, said.
“Over the past years, Sudan has realized the necessity of Russian companies’ coming to his [country’s] economy and is therefore ready to open the doors for Russian companies in nearly all spheres,” Margelov told RIA Novosti.
“So the delegation will be vested with the broadest powers,” he said after a meeting with al-Bashir.
Margelov said South Sudan separated from Sudan last year, and received 75 percent of oil deposits. After that, Margelov said, Sudan decided to diversify its economy developing and producing other mineral resources – gold, uranium, copper, iron ore, zinc and potassium.
He said Soviet scientists conducted research in the 1970s and compiled a detailed geological map of Sudan, and that the Sudanese are very much interested in accessing that information.
Sudan’s mineral resources minister, Kamal Abdel Latif Abdel Rahim, told Margelov during talks that Sudan has chosen Russia as a strategic mining cooperation partner.
“The Sudanese are very much interested in Russian companies, technology and knowledge coming to that sphere,” Margelov said.
Sudan and South Sudan signed in September agreements on cooperation in security, oil production, trade, and rights, and agreed to create a buffer zone between them.
South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July 2011, six years after the countries signed a peace deal ending decades of warfare between them. But armed clashes along their common border and remaining post-independence issues like security and oil have threatened the fragile peace.
Margelov added that Sudan is ready to discuss demarcating the hotly disputed oil-rich Abyei region.