Turkey and Sudan have agreed to establish a strategic cooperation council and to increase trade tries, sealing an “historic” visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Khartoum.
Erdogan’s arrived in the Sudanese capital on Sunday as part of a three-day trip that also includes stops in Chad and Tunisia.
Following a meeting with his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, Erdogan said the two countries aimed at boosting bilateral trade from its current value of $500m a year to $1bn initially and then $10bn.
“We encourage businessmen to invest in Sudan,” Erdogan said during a joint news conference, adding that his country was aware of Sudan’s economic potential.
Sudan’s official state news agency also said that the two leaders had agreed to set up a strategic planning group to discuss international affairs and intended to conclude a military deal involving the two countries’ armed forces.
Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said Erdogan’s visit was hailed as “historic”.
“This is the first visit by a Turkish head of state since Sudan became independent in 1956,” she said.
Talks between the two presidents “mostly focused on political and economic development”, added Morgan, noting that more bilateral agreements were expected to be signed on Monday.
For his part, al-Bashir said Erdogan’s visit would boost ties between the two Muslim countries.
The issue of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6 was also discussed by the two leaders.
“This step by the United States is one of distress and as chairman of the Islamic conference I have requested support from unbiased countries,” said Erdogan, who earlier this month hosted an extraordinary summit in Istanbul under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation which rejected Trump’s move as “dangerous”.
“The US is wrong and the world is right.”
Earlier this week, a resounding majority of member states at the UN General Assembly voted in favour of a resolution declaring Washington’s Jerusalem move “null and void”.