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Sudan received financial support from Saudi Arabia: minister

October 21, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese investment minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, has revealed that his government received financial support from Saudi Arabia following a recent visit by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to the kingdom.

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Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir meets with Saudi crown prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz (L) in Riyadh on 30 September 2014 (Photo: SPA)

Ismail said that some external parties which he did not name had stepped in to improve ties between Khartoum and Riyadh.

Earlier this month, Bashir concluded a 10-day visit to Saudi Arabia in which he performed the Hajj and held talks with the crown prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

In press statements on Tuesday, the Sudanese investment minister said that the two countries agreed on certain political and economic measures, underscoring the visit managed to push bilateral relations back onto the normal track.

The recent rapprochement with the Saudi government comes after Sudan’s decision to close the Iranian cultural center in Khartoum. The foreign ministry said that the center’s activities had exceeded its mandate and posed a threat to the intellectual and social security in Sudan.

Ismail stressed the Sudanese economy will begin to improve gradually, expecting the value of the Sudanese pound will further strengthen against the US dollar.

The minister further emphasised that the increase in the value of the Sudanese pound is not temporarily as some have predicted, attributing it to the improvement of relations with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain.

The price of the US dollar dropped on the black market in Khartoum, settling at 8.50 Sudanese pounds (SDG) after reaching a high of 9.50 (SDG) during the past months.

Ismail pointed that Bashir agreed with the Saudi leadership to form a committee to resolve outstanding issues, expressing delight to improvement of ties with Saudi Arabia following a period of tepid relations.

He revealed that foreign parties, which he preferred not to name, intervened to improve relations with the kingdom, vowing to disclose names of these parties later.

(ST)