Erdoğan voices solidarity with Sudanese people, administration
Erdoğan’s remarks came at a news conference in the presidential complex in Ankara following his meeting with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, in which both sides signed several memorandums of understanding.
"We are committed to standing by the brotherly people of Sudan and their administration," Erdoğan said, adding that Ankara would maintain bilateral ties in solidarity in the coming days ahead.
Erdoğan also noted that he was pleased by Al-Burhan’s visit to his country, saying he hoped this heralded a new chapter in the friendly ties between Turkey and Sudan as both countries shared historical and cultural ties.
Erdoğan said he had visited Sudan in 2006, as the prime minister back then, and in 2017 as the president, and the Sudanese nation embraced him with great hospitality.
Emphasizing that the countries became strategic partners amid his visit in 2017, Erdoğan said the two leaders discussed a variety of issues and Sudan had been going through a comprehensive period of transition since 2019 while Al-Burhan shouldered a hard role during a critical period.
Since then, the Sudanese transition government has made great progress and achievements under the leadership of Al-Buhran, according to Erdoğan, who said the Sudanese nation would reach the level they deserve after years of hardships.
The Turkish president expressed his satisfaction with the removal of Sudan's overdue debts to the World Bank, African Development Bank, and International Monetary Fund, as well as with the Sudanese banks' inclusion in the international banking system.
Erdoğan also said Turkey's state-run participation bank Ziraat Katilim opened a branch in Khartoum last year, and it was his country's first public bank in continental Africa, helping ease mutual fiscal and banking transactions.
"We have agreed to revive activities of our inter-ministerial commissions operating under the Council of High-Level Strategic Partnership and mixed financial commission," Erdoğan said. "We have reaffirmed our determination to advance cooperation in all fields, especially in energy, mining, agriculture, health, finance, banking, and defense industry."
The president further noted that Turkey would step up its efforts to contribute to the development of Sudan and improving its infrastructure.
"It is possible to see the deep traces of mutual past with Sudan in the Palace of Ali Dinar in Darfur, masterpiece Masjid al-Kabir in Khartoum, and Suakin, the pearl of the Red Sea," Erdoğan said, adding that the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency was meticulously restoring mosques along with a customs building in Suakin.
Al-Burhan, for his part, hailed Turkey, saying the country has “always stood by Sudan.”
Al-Burhan also condoled with Turkey over the recent wildfires that blazed the country’s western and southern regions for days, noting that the countries enjoyed deep, historical relations, while the state officials today had the responsibility of maintaining these ties.
Praising Turkey for standing as one of the leading countries of its region and the world, the Sudanese official said the Ankara government offered help amid the COVID-19 crisis while also providing educational assistance for Sudanese students, hosting and training them in addition to extending a hand to lift the blockade on Sudan.
The memorandums of understanding include collaboration in renewable energy and energy efficiency, cooperation protocol between the foreign ministries, economic and fiscal cooperation between the relevant ministries, and military-fiscal cooperation along with an implementation protocol of cash assistance.
Erdoğan discusses ties with Lithuanian president
In the meantime, Erdoğan discussed bilateral relations with his Lithuanian counterpart over the phone on Aug. 12.
Erdoğan and Gitanas Nauseda also discussed regional developments, Turkey’s Communications Directorate said in a statement.
Erdoğan thanked Nauseda for his recovery wishes and Lithuania's solidarity during Turkey's recent fight against forest fires and floods, he added.