彩神苹果版Turkey's Erdogan pays "historic" visit to Sudan to strengthen bilateral ties
KHARTOUM, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Sudan on Sunday, marking the first time that a Turkish president visited the North African country since its independence in 1956.
The visit is expected to enhance the Sudan-Turkey cooperation in multiple sectors, especially in the fields of investment, trade and agriculture.
"There have been deeply-rooted ties between Sudan and Turkey, the visit is historic as it will open new horizons for the relations between the two countries," said Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour while welcoming Erdogan at the Khartoum International Airport.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also underlined the importance of Sudan as a partner for Turkey, both regionally and internationally.
"The visit is a sign of our intention to further strengthen and deepen our bilateral and multilateral cooperation," he said.
During the visit, Erdogan is scheduled to hold talks with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir and address the Sudanese parliament in a special session held to welcome the Turkish president.
With around 80 businessmen in the Erdogan-led Turkish delegation, the two countries will sign a number of agreements to boost cooperation in the fields of investment and trade.
On Monday, Erdogan will visit historical sites during Ottoman era in the archeological city of Suakin in eastern Sudan, some 810 km east of the capital Khartoum.
Moreover, the two sides will hold a joint meeting over agricultural cooperation during the visit of the Turkish president.
In 2014, Sudan and Turkey signed an agricultural partnership deal, including the allocation of 12,800 hectares in Abu Gutah area in central Sudan for agricultural production.
According to a recent report by the Sudanese Ministry of Investment, Turkish investment in Sudan has reached 2 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, with 288 Turkey-funded projects in the country.
Sudan is the biggest importer of Turkish products in the sub-Saharan region, but current trade between the two countries only amounts to 580 million dollars.
The two countries are planning to increase the volume of trade and investment to 1 billion dollars by the end of 2018.
Erdogan's visit to Sudan is the first stop of his tour in Africa which will also take him to Chad and Tunisia.