During the consultations, the sides exchanged opinions on the development of Russian-Sudanese relations and topical international issues, including the situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
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Beginning of conversation with President of the Republic of the Sudan Omar Al-Bashir
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr. President, friends,
I am happy to greet you.
We are confident that your first visit to Russia will prove very useful and will benefit the cause of expanding bilateral relations.
We are very happy to see you, welcome.
I know that you are also planning to meet with the Prime Minister of Russia and to sign documents. But it is already possible to state that our relations, primarily economic relations, continue to develop. Total volumes remain unimpressive, but the pace is good. Last year, there was a 66 percent growth, and over 80 percent in the first nine months of 2017.
The Sudan is a major buyer of Russian grain. This year, we are expecting to boost Russian grain supplies to your market to one million tonnes.
We have very good prospects in the energy sector, including geological prospecting, production and resource exchanges. The hydrocarbons sector, the power industry and the development of the civilian nuclear power industry also have good prospects. On the whole, we have many cooperation venues.
We are very happy to see you, and I am glad to have this opportunity to discuss cooperation in all these possible areas.
I am confident that your visit will benefit expanded interstate ties.
President of the Republic of the Sudan Omar al-Bashir (retranslated): First, I would like to thank you for the invitation to visit Russia. We have long been dreaming about this visit.
We attach great importance to the development of relations with friendly Russia. Our friendship is a long-standing tradition. We are grateful to Russia for its position at international venues. We appreciate its efforts to protect the Sudan.
Our positions coincide on the majority of issues. We are primarily opposed to US interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries, in particular US interference in Iraq.
We believe that the problems the region is now facing have been caused by US interference. We think the situation that developed in our country (the same applies to Darfur and South Sudan) has the same roots – US policy. As a result, our country split into two parts, which made a bad situation worse. We need protection from aggressive US actions.
We believe that what is happening in Syria today is also due to US interference, which resulted in such a disaster there.
We think peace cannot be achieved without President Bashar al-Assad. We believe that Syria would have been lost without Russia’s assistance.
In this context, we favour development of cooperation with Russia in all areas.
As for defence cooperation, the weapons we have are of Russian make. This is true both of our land troops and aviation.
We had a very good meeting with the Russian Defence Minister in the morning. Now we are launching a large programme to reequip our armed forces and we agreed with the Defence Minister [Sergei Shoigu] that Russia will help us in this. We would like to augment our presence in Russia by sending more military attaches here.
We are also concerned about the situation in the Red Sea. We believe US interference there is also a problem. We would like to discuss the use of military bases in the Red Sea.
As for the re-equipment of our armed forces, we will exchange experts, as we agreed with the Defence Minister.
In addition, we would like to talk about the work of Russian companies, in particular, in geology, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and construction of nuclear power plants. We are interested in these areas and have the potential for developing them.
As for the grain imports that you mentioned earlier, one million tonnes is a very good figure for us, and we are very grateful to you. We are highly interested in developing relations with Russian business in oil production, agriculture and railways.
Sudan has extensive ties in Africa and we can help Russia develop relations with African countries. Sudan may become Russian’s key to Africa. We are a member of the African Union. We have great relations with all African nations and we are ready to help. We are also interested in developing relations with BRICS.