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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Sudan’s Burhan eyes Qatar investment opportunities

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The Sudanese official was previously in Qatar in April for his first visit to the Gulf state since he assumed power in 2019.

The head of Sudan’s ruling interim military council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan met with a delegation consisting of investors and shareholding companies from Qatar in Khartoum on Tuesday, Sudanese News Agency [SUNA] reported.

According to Tag Press, the delegation was headed by prominent Qatari businessman Sheikh Khalid bin Thani Al Thani and included the Executive Director of the Qatar International Islamic Bank Abdul Basit Ahmad Al Shaibi.

Al Shaibi said the delegation discussed investment opportunities in the East African country with the Sudanese Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, noting that the recent lifting of the US embargo on Sudan paved the way for more economic opportunities.

In October last year, Sudan was removed from the US’ list of state sponsors of terrorism almost 30 years since it was listed for hosting former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

The decision, under the former Donald Trump administration, conditioned that Sudan must  pay $335 milllion to the families of victims of terrorist attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, as well as the bombing of a US naval vessel in Yemen in 2000.

Washington began the delisting process in 2017 but put it on hold due to pro-democracy protests that led to the ousting of former president Omar Al-Bashir, who played a significant role in the Darfur genocide that saw the murder of at least 300,000 people.

Since his ousting in 2019, Khartoum and Washington have vowed to improve ties after nearly three decades of hostility.

On Tuesday, Al Shaibi said the Qatari delegation is in the process of conducting several talks with officials and relevant authorities to further review the ideas exchanged during the meetings, which involved various sectors including real estate, health as well as finance.

Qatar to continue supporting Sudan, FM says

In April, Burhan travelled to Qatar in his first bilateral visit to the Gulf state since he assumed power in 2019 following the overthrow of former ruler Bashir.

During the visit, Sudan showed interest in enhancing and developing relations with Qatar across various fields. Burhan also met with officials from Qatar Chamber [QC] as well as Qatari businessmen to discuss business interests.

During the Doha visit, Burhan seemed keen on inviting more Qatari investments into his home country, calling on businesses to expand into Sudan.

Qatar-Sudan ties

Qatar and Sudan have had strong relations since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1972.

The Gulf state participated in the final signing ceremony of the peace agreement between the transitional government of the Republic of Sudan and the Sudanese Armed Movements in October 2020.

In 2011, Doha also sponsored a negotiation process that resulted in the Darfur Peace Agreement, which brought together the government of Sudan and the armed movements to end the six-year-long Darfur conflict.

At least 300,000 people were killed and around 2.7 million were displaced during the genocide.

Then in 2013, Qatar hosted the International Donors Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur, where the country pledged to raise $7.2 billion to help rebuild the conflict area over a period of six years.


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