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'Protect Sudan from the US,' Omar al-Bashir urges Putin

Valdimir Putin [L] and Omar al-Bashir [R] met in Sochi on Thursday [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 24 November, 2017

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accuses Washington of fomenting Sudan's conflict while on a visit to Russia.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to protect Sudan from the United States, saying that Sudan could serve as a gateway to Africa for Moscow.

Speaking during a meeting with Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, al-Bashir accused the Washington of fomenting Sudan's conflict, adding that "we need protection from the US' aggressive actions."

Since 2003, Sudan's Darfur region has been the site of fierce clashes between government forces and rebels who accuse the regime in Khartoum of discrimination and neglect. Around 300,000 people have died in the conflict and some 2.7 million have been displaced, according to the UN.

Al-Bashir also made mention of his concerns about the situation in the Red Sea, where he sees the US as a problem, saying that "we would like to discuss the issue from the point of view of the use of bases in the Red Sea."

It is unclear whether al-Bashir's remarks were meant to indicate Sudan's willingness to allow Russia's navy to use its facilities.

During the meeting, the Sudanese president told Putin that his country could help Russia increase business in Africa.

"Sudan could become a key to Africa for Russia," al-Bashir said in remarks released by the Kremlin.

He added that Khartoum is also looking forward to cooperation with Moscow in oil exploration, transport and agriculture.

Putin echoed his Sudanese counterpart's optimism about future cooperation, mentioning his hopes that imports of Russian grain to Sudan will increase.

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