Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks on Thursday in Sochi with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
The Kremlin said the two presidents exchanged views on the development of bilateral relations and pressing international issues, including the situation in the Middle East.
Speaking at the beginning of the talks in the Sochi resort on the shores of the Black Sea, Bashir underlined the importance his country accords to relations with Russia and expressed appreciation for Russia’s continuous support for Sudan.
“We are thankful to Russia for its position on the international arena, including Russia’s position in the protection of Sudan. We are in need of protection from the aggressive acts of the United States,” he stated.
Pointing to the convergence of views between the two countries on a range of issues, the Sudanese president said: “First and foremost, we are against American interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries”. He also blamed the United States for the crises facing the region.
He went on to say: “We see that what is happening in our country, especially in Darfur and South Sudan, is a result of American policies… Our country was divided into two parts, which led to the deterioration of the situation.”
Bashir’s visit to Russia came a month after the United States lifted a trade embargo it imposed on the African state in 1997 over Khartoum’s alleged backing of terrorist groups.
For his part, Putin expressed his confidence that Bashir’s visit to Moscow would be very fruitful and would contribute to the development of bilateral relations, pointing out that it was the first visit by the Sudanese President to Russia.
He also touched on the economic relations between two countries, which had grown by 66 percent last year.
While noting that those relations were not significant, he stressed that he was satisfied with the pace of their growth, which had reached over the past months over 80 percent.
The Sudanese president also held talks at the Russian Defense Ministry, where he said that his meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu was positive.