Foreign and Military Affairs

Sudanese leader: Ties with China to stay on track

Updated: 2011-06-28 09:05

(China Daily)

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KHARTOUM, Sudan - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said that the independence of southern Sudan, scheduled for July 9, would not affect future relations between Sudan and China.

Sudanese leader: Ties with China to stay on track
Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese President.

"We are convinced that this will not affect the relationship," he said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency.

"Our policy, and also China's, stands on the principle that each country is free to adopt the procedures and build relations in the manner that preserves its interests and relations. Therefore, even if China has established relations with the south Sudan state, that will definitely not affect its relations with the north. Similarly, its relations with the north will not affect its relations with the south. This is what really characterizes relations with China," said al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir reiterated that China remained "the strategic partner" for his country in various fields, affirming that his visit to China would give a strong boost to the two countries' ties.

"We regard China as the strategic partner for Sudan in various fields, including the political, economic, commercial and cultural fields," said al-Bashir, who was scheduled to visit China from Monday to Thursday.

However, the plane carrying al-Bashir to China was forced to turn back on Monday over Turkmenistan, according to The Associated Press.

Sudan's Foreign Ministry said al-Bashir would arrive in Beijing after a new flight plan was approved from the Iranian capital, where he had been visiting, AP reported.

Talking about his visit to China, the Sudanese president said: "We are happy to visit China at the invitation of President Hu Jintao. This visit is natural if we consider the relations between Sudan and China. We have kept on exchanging visits at all levels, from the presidential level to the ministerial level and other different levels. This visit is a continuation of the distinguished relations between Sudan and China, which have remained friendly and progressive," said al-Bashir.

He added: "We are completely satisfied about this relationship which constitutes a living and successful model for south-south relations. We are convinced that we are moving toward new horizons in the cooperation between the two countries in various fields."

He commended the energy cooperation between the two countries, noting that "when US companies refused to work in the oil field and when restrictions were imposed on the Western companies operating in Sudan, we found in China a real partner.

"While the agreements with Western companies were unfair and 100 percent in their favor, the agreements with Chinese companies constituted a real exchange of benefits. In fact we received a better offer from China than from Western companies," he added.

Established on Jan 4, 1959, ties between Sudan and China are based on mutual respect and benefit, and have witnessed considerable development in various fields.

The success of the model of Sino-Sudanese ties has attracted the attention of many countries to the "existence of a real partner", he said, adding that "the success of this model was a surprise for Arab and African countries which believed that Sudan, as long as it was sanctioned by the US, would not be able to extract its petroleum".

He also reiterated that the successful experience of Sino-Sudanese relations should be attributed to mutual respect and non-intervention in each other's internal affairs.

"China does not intervene in the internal affairs of others. The success of Sino-Sudanese cooperation has encouraged African countries to search for their real and loyal partner."



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