Hu re­as­sures Su­dan over con­tin­u­ing in­vest­ment

Shanghai Daily - - TOP NEWS -

SU­DAN won pledges from China and its state- owned en­ergy firm yes­ter­day that they will con­tinue in­vest­ing in the coun­try af­ter its re­source-rich south­ern re­gion be­comes in­de­pen­dent next month.

Su­dan’s For­eign Min­is­ter Ali Ahmed Karti said yes­ter­day Pres­i­dent Omar al-Bashir was vis­it­ing Bei­jing hop­ing to hear China would con­tinue to in­vest in north­ern Su­dan’s oil, agri­cul­ture and min­ing sec­tors.

Vi­o­lence has es­ca­lated in ar­eas con­tested by the north and south, and China has said it wants the two sides to peace­fully set­tle the dis­pute.

“We had good as­sur­ances from his ex­cel­lency Pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao that China would go on work­ing with Su­dan hand in hand whether po­lit­i­cally or fi­nan­cially or eco­nom­i­cally,” Karti told re­porters two days into a trip that comes ahead of south Su­dan’s in­de­pen­dence on July 9.

Al-Bashir was greeted by the Chi­nese pres­i­dent at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing yes­ter­day and given an honor-guard re­cep­tion.

“The Chi­nese side will firmly pur­sue a friendly pol­icy to­ward Su­dan,” Hu was quoted as say­ing by Xin­hua news agency. “No mat­ter the changes in the in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tion and in­ter­nal sit­u­a­tion of Su­dan, this pol­icy will re­main un­changed.”

Dur­ing his talks with al-Bashir, Hu pro­posed ex­pand­ing bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion by deep­en­ing po­lit­i­cal links, boost­ing trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, in­creas­ing ex­changes and co­op­er­at­ing on in­ter­na­tional is­sues.

The lead­ers wit­nessed the sign­ing of an eco­nomic and tech­no­log­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment, and a pact for a bridge project in the east of Su­dan. Al-Bashir also vis­ited the Bei­jing head­quar­ters of China Na­tional Petroleum Corp, Asia’s big­gest oil and gas pro­ducer by vol­ume, and was as­sured the firm would con­tinue to in­vest in the north, Karti said.

Su­dan is sub- Sa­ha­ran Africa’s third-largest oil pro­ducer, pro­duc­ing 490,000 bar­rels a day last year.

South Su­dan’s dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence will be the cul­mi­na­tion of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than 20 years of civil war that killed more than 2 mil­lion peo­ple.

The vi­o­lence re­sulted in war crimes charges against al-Bashir, the first against a sit­ting head of state un­til sim­i­lar charges this week against Libya’s Moam­mar Gad­hafi.

China has said charges ac­cus­ing al-Bashir of or­ches­trat­ing atroc­i­ties in Su­dan’s Dar­fur could cause fur­ther in­sta­bil­ity in the re­gion.

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