March 20, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The General Manager of Sudan’s Export Development Bank Mohammed Rashid Mohammed Salem called for swift signing of cooperation protocols between the central banks in Khartoum and Juba in the wake of the recent rapprochement between the two countries.
Salem said that such an agreement would allow for Sudanese banking presence in South Sudan which would help facilitate border trade in line with the deals signed last week.
He said that lack of Sudanese banks in South Sudan is an impediment to trade between the two countries which is has a potential of reaching a volume of $2 billion annually and encompassing 175 line of commodities.
The agreement, signed in Addis Ababa nder the supervision of the African Union, sets a timetable and the mechanisms to enact a cooperation agreement signed by both countries last September.
In addition to oil production, other matters addressed in the cooperation agreement are to be immediately carried out in the next two to three weeks, including security arrangements, the demarcation of borders, the status of people living across borders, trade, economics and pensions.
Landlocked South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in July 2011, closed off its 350,000 barrel-per-day output in January last year in a dispute with Khartoum over how much it should pay to send the oil through Sudanese pipelines to the Red Sea.
Now both countries say that they are prepared to resume oil exports which is hoped to bring billion of dollars into their beleaguered economies.
The Sudanese banker emphasized the readiness of his bank to contribute to the development of trade and exports to South Sudan and support the banking system there.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article45909
February 17, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Forces have conducted their first joint maritime military exercise.
FILE – A Sudanese navy patrol boat patrols the waters close to where the Iranian Kharg replenishment ship and the Corvette Admiral Naghdi are docked in the Red Sea Sudanese town of Port Sudan on October 31, 2012. (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
The disclosure was first made by the Commander of the navy base in Port Sudan, Admiral Magdi Sayed Omer who told Al-Sudani daily newspaper that “the joint exercises will continue until next Thursday”.
He added that the drill comes in the framework of enhancing maritime diplomacy and Red Sea security.
Omer stressed that the current maneuvers are the first of their kind and will form a starting point for joint efforts aimed at securing the Red Sea and strengthening relations between Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
Later the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson Colonel Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad told state news agency (SUNA) that the purpose of the joint exercise is to train the naval forces in both countries on combating the different kinds of smuggling.
Col. Sa’ad added that Sawarmi said that this is the first exercise of its kind between Sudan and Saudi Arabia stressing that they will continue in the future.
He said that Sudan received two Saudi ships along with an unspecified number of Saudi special forces and marines.
Sudan’s controversial decision to allow two Iranian warships to dock at Port Sudan last October angered its Arab Gulf state neighbours, raising questions about the level of military cooperation between the two countries.
The arrival of the Iranian warships coincided with the bombing of Khartoum’s Al-Yarmook military factory rumoured to be linked to Tehran, with the Sudanese government accusing Israel of the attack.
Khartoum’s links with Tehran have been met with suspicion, particularly in the Gulf.
The Saudi pro-government Al-Riyadh newspaper blasted Khartoum over the Iranian warships, questioning the logics behind the relationship between the two countries in a heavily critical editorial published that month titled “The fall of masks between Iran and Sudan”.
“Bashir’s government resorting to a state that is in political and security odds with most Arab countries has no logical justification,” the newspaper said.
The editorial accused the Sudanese government of “conducting naive policy”, saying it had turned the country, despite its enormous potentials, to a marginalised nation that is unable to attract Arab or foreign investors.
The Sudanese army spokesperson told media at the time the arrival of the warships had nothing to do with the destruction of the Al-Yarmook facility, saying the visit was pre-planned before the airstrike and aimed at sharing military expertise.
Khartoum also denied reports that suggested the arms factory was producing Iranian weapons.
Last November, Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti publicly criticised the government for allowing Iran’s naval warships to dock in Port Sudan, saying the government’s actions were hurting its relations with its Arab Gulf state neighbours.
He also denied that the country received any request from Tehran to forge an alliance aimed at protecting the Red Sea.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article45559
Sources from the city of Port Sudan, capital of the Red Sea state, assert that 60 Syrian fighters supporting the Assad regime were admitted at a local military hospital on Tuesday. Some of them are “badly wounded”, they told Radio Dabanga.
There are conflicting accounts concerning how the Syrian group arrived at the hospital. Some witnesses claim the troops flew from Damascus to Khartoum and from there to Port Sudan.
Others are suggesting to Radio Dabanga they were transferred with a frigate to Port Sudan from a Russian offshore navy hospital based in Syria.
Photo: CIA Factbook (cropped)
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/42685