SOCHI, October 23. /TASS/. Sudan’s military and transitional government seek to boost defense technology cooperation with Russia after a new government came to power in that African country this spring, Russia’s Ambassador to Sudan Vladimir Zheltov told TASS on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit and economic forum on Wednesday.
"Military-technical cooperation is one the key components in our bilateral ties," he said. "Over decades, the Soviet Union and then the country - the successor of the Soviet Union, which is the Russian Federation, contributed to bolstering the Sudanese Armed Forces’ combat capabilities," he said.
The diplomat pointed out that currently Sudan’s Armed Forces is 60% equipped with the weapons and military hardware made in either the Soviet Union or Russia, which showcased in the African desert proving their quality and reliability.
"In this connection, the Sudanese seek not to break up anything, but to keep using what they have, what they know and can do," Zheltov said. "Sudan’s Armed Forces and its political and military leadership are definitely interested in the issue to be promoted. Another thing is that various conditions are necessary in accordance with new times, but it is another pair of shoes."
On April 11, in the wake of unabated mass protests against price hikes, Sudan’s military ousted President Omar al-Bashir and the Military Council came to power. In September, an interim government was formed in the country to bring together opposition members and the Sovereign Council, comprising military and civilian representatives. They are tasked with carrying out major political and economic reforms in the next three years.
On October 23-24, the resort city of Sochi will host the Russia-Africa Summit, co-chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egypt’s head of state Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The leaders of all 54 African countries were invited to come, and at least 40 of them have already confirmed their participation. Eight major African integration associations and organizations are also involved in the event. On the summit’s sidelines, an economic forum will take place, which will be attended by the continent’s heads of state, and representatives of the business community and government agencies. The Roscongress Foundation is the organizer of the event, and TASS is the official photo host agency of the summit and economic forum.