Sudan agrees with Turkey to reconstruct a ruined Ottoman-era port city on Sudan’s Red Sea coast, as Ankara seeks to expand its military and economic ties in the African continent.

The Sudanese leader, Omar al-Bashir has agreed to temporarily hand over Suakin to Ankara for rebuilding purposes in order to make it as a tourist site and a transit point for those who want to perform Umrah or Lesser Pilgrimage from Turkey to Saudi Arabia’s holy sites.

Suakin, used to be considered the height of medieval luxury on the Red Sea, was Sudan’s major port when it was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, but fell into disuse over the last century following the construction of Port Sudan, 60 kilometers to the north.

This handout photograph taken and released by the Turkish Presidential Press Office on December 24, 2017, shows President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) as he shakes hands with President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum. (Photo by AFP)

 

Erdogan, however, did not pay a visit to Sudan, as the first trip by a Turkish president to the poor African nation, solely for reconstructing a bleak port city.

The two presidents also agreed “to build a dock to maintain civilian and military vessels. The Sudanese top diplomat went on to say that the leaders had signed an agreement “that could result in any kind of military cooperation.

The Suakin deal was one of several, worth $650 million in total, agreed with Sudan, which emerged from two decades of US sanctions in October and is striving to draw international investment.

The wide-ranging agreements came some three months after Turkey formally opened a $50 million military training base in the African country as Ankara wields growing influence in the region.

PressTV.com / AA Magnum Analyst News 2017.

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