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Sudan's Hemedti Says Open to Russian Naval Base Accord

Sudan's Hemedti Says Open to Russian Naval Base Accord

Thursday, 3 March, 2022 - 08:45
Sudan's deputy head of Sudan's Transitional Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, meets with the head of the Egyptian intelligence service, Abbas Kamel, at Cairo Airport (SUNA)

The deputy head of Sudan's Transitional Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, said his country had no problem with Russia or any other country establishing a naval base on its Red Sea coast, provided that it doesn't threaten national security.


The General was speaking on arrival in Khartoum following a trip to Moscow on Feb. 23, on the eve of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


Hemedti indicated that the base doesn't fall under his authority rather under the jurisdiction of the defense minister, noting there were several military bases in neighboring countries such as Djibouti and Niger.


"If any country wants to open a base and it is in our interests and doesn't threaten our national security, we have no problem in dealing with anyone, Russia or otherwise."


He explained that Sudan's position on the Russian war on Ukraine was issued by the Sovereign Council, which called for resolving the crisis through dialogue and diplomacy.


The General earlier announced his support for Russia, stressing that Moscow has the right to act in the interests of its citizens and protect its people under the constitution and the law.


However, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said the statement was taken out of context.


Hemedti also announced that the Russian Business Council, which includes about 55 public and private economic institutions, expressed willingness to invest in Sudan.


The ministerial delegation accompanying the deputy held talks with their Russian counterparts in what were described as constructive and fruitful meetings.


The deputy met with the Sudanese community in Russia and discussed their problems and recent developments in Sudan.


The Sudanese Chargé d'Affairs in Ukraine briefed Hemedti on the situation of Sudanese refugees and indicated that some of them were transferred to Romania and Poland.


Hemedti met the head of the Egyptian intelligence service, Abbas Kamel, at the Cairo Airport during his transit to Khartoum.


The meeting addressed the Sudanese-Egyptian relations and developments in the situation in Sudan, security issues, and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).


Hemedti announced that they also discussed issues of White Nile waters and cooperation with the State of South Sudan regarding the Jonglei Canal.


The deputy asserted that the military does not reject dialogue with civilian leaders and seeks agreement among all parties, calling for a return to negotiations.


Hemedti encouraged the role of Sudanese mediators, who are known for their integrity, to reach national consensus through dialogue.


He called for ending the protests in Sudan, noting that national consensus is the path forward towards elections.


During his visit to Moscow, Hemedti met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and several Russian government officials.


They discussed boosting bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism and political, diplomatic, economic, and trade relations.


The Transitional Sovereign Council in Sudan affirmed its position in support of adopting dialogue to resolve the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.


Earlier, the European Union called on the Sudanese government to condemn the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.


Last April, Sudan froze the agreement to establish a Russian military base on the Red Sea, prompting the latter to withdraw its battleships and forces from the country.


In 2017, ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to establish a military base in the Red Sea, citing fears of a US hostile interference in Sudanese internal affairs.


In November 2020, Putin ratified the government's proposal to sign an agreement with Khartoum to establish a "Logistical Support Center" for the Russian Navy forces in Sudan.


The agreement explained that the center fulfills the objectives of maintaining peace and stability in the region, and its presence "is defensive and is not directed against other countries."


It stipulated that the number of military personnel and civilian contractors at the center "shall not exceed 300 people at any one time."


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