North Africa

Sudan Expects ‘Very Strong Launch’ of Interaction With Russia in Near Future: Ambassador to Moscow

Longread Russia and Sudan have enjoyed fruitful cooperation throughout the years. The countries further strengthened their relations through recent agreements on mineral exploration and academic cooperation, which promise mutual economic and educational benefits. Sudan and similar countries value equal partnerships, and clear Russian policies emphasizing mutual benefits and equal sovereignty are attractive, leading to an expected significant strengthening of Sudan’s relations with Russia soon, Mohammed Elghazali Eltigani Sirrag, Sudan’s Ambassador to Moscow, told the national media. This is happening as part of a broader trend toward multipolarity, the ambassador noted. “[New] international order is heading in the direction of multipolarity with decision-making centers from different international poles, thus providing a kind of what we can call “democracy of the international system” […] and we note that there are economic systems such as the BRICS system that have become very important and comparable to the G7,” Sirrag was quoted as saying. Talking about relationships between Russia and Sudan, the diplomat noted that the two nations have a lot in common, which allows them to build “strong and solid” relationships that benefit the people of both countries. Moreover, since the independence of Sudan in 1956, communication between the two states in all areas has never been interrupted, not even during the current crisis in Sudan. In particular, it is supported by the visits of the countries’ officials and the work of various joint committees. Such a history of relationships is an excellent basis for concluding various mutually beneficial agreements. Sudan and Russia recently signed an agreement for mineral exploration in Block “24” and a cooperation memorandum with Saint Petersburg State University. Important and productive meetings were held between the Russian Minister of Natural Resources and the Sudanese Minister of Minerals, promising positive outcomes soon, the speaker added. “During the coming period, we seek to attract large Russian companies, especially those that have experience in the field of work in Sudan, to contribute significantly to the reconstruction of Sudan after the war and to explore the possibility of their work in the safe areas currently, and in fact, we find a very great response from them,” he reportedly said. Furthermore, Sirrag addressed the creation of a Russian base in the Red Sea, which is mistakenly perceived by some as a military base, but in fact it is a material and logistical support point, underscored the official. “This logistics support point project can be read within the framework of the development of bilateral relations between the two countries […] and is not directed against any party, but within the framework of relations between the two countries,” he said, as cited by the media. At the end of the interview, the pressing issue of the conflict in Sudan and Russia’s position on this problem were discussed. Sirrag highlighted that, thanks to Russia’s backing in the UN Security Council, Sudan successfully navigated and avoided numerous challenges and draft resolutions that could have jeopardized the nation’s unity and sovereignty. Furthermore, in a recent meeting with the Director of the Department of International Organizations at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pyotr Ilyichev, Sirrag detailed how the militia targeted agricultural lands, confiscated equipment, terrorized citizens, and committed abuses against farmers, preventing them from harvesting. The parties also discussed Sudan’s efforts to facilitate humanitarian aid by opening crossings and airports. “It must be noted that humanitarian aid should not be used as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of countries clearly or to implement a special agenda,” the Sudanese diplomat emphasized. What is also important is that Russia explicitly acknowledges the legitimacy of Sudan’s current institutions, particularly the Sovereignty Council headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and Moscow backs Sudan’s ongoing matters at the UN Security Council. “It is a clear message of solidarity with the Sudanese people and government and an affirmation of the friendly relations between the two countries. The fact is that the Russian government and its guidelines are just because they are based on the principle of sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of countries, and building serious partnerships and mutual interests for the two countries,” he concluded.

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Russia-Egypt Cooperation in Education Becoming More Profound, Minister Says

Exclusive The II International Forum of Ministers of Education “Shaping the Future” takes place on June 10-11 in Russia’s Kazan. It brought together representatives of 46 delegations from 39 countries, including those from African countries. Russia-Egypt cooperation in education is increasingly deepening, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt Mohamed Ayman Ashour told Sputnik Africa on the sidelines of the II International Forum of Ministers of Education in Russia’s Kazan. Universities of the two countries are actively collaborating: for example, branches of Russian high schools have been established in the African country, the minister noted. “Also, we discussed together how to increase the number of universities by establishing a new consortium in the new city of Borg El Arab, in the north of Egypt, also to boost other universities from Russia, in order to give good new [educational] programs in Egypt. We discussed the new programs in the new technological universities, how to connect between the technological universities here in Russia and in Egypt,” he said. Russia and Egypt are also discussing the introduction of hard science programs at Egyptian universities to support the technological part of the El Dabaa nuclear power plant in the northern part of the country. “We also started to negotiate and to agree together for the new corporation and protocol between our ministry in Egypt and the Ministry of Higher Education here in Russia, and we are looking forward to the cooperation,” the minister concluded. During the forum, the parties held a meeting where the Minister of Science and Higher Education of Russia, Valery Falkov, noted that Russia highly values the long-standing relationship between the two countries (last year marked the 80th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations), during which “a great deal has been achieved thanks to well-structured relations in the scientific and educational sphere.” In turn, Ashour noted the high level of Russian education, reminding that he is a graduate of the postgraduate program at the Moscow Architectural Institute. Today, there are 118 agreements and memoranda in the field of science and higher education between universities in Russia and Egypt, 56 of which were signed in 2023, and 19 more are planned for this year. Examples of active collaboration between the two countries include the branches of Saint Petersburg State University and Kazan (Volga) Federal University opened in Cairo, where more than 750 students are studying. Cooperation in the scientific sphere is also developing. At the moment, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia is evaluating applications for a new competitive selection of joint applied scientific research projects with African countries, including Egypt. The II International Forum of Ministers of Education is organized by the Ministry of Education of Russia, the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, and the Foundation for the Support of Humanitarian Sciences “My History.”

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Embarks on Trip to Russia to Attend BRICS Meeting, Spokesman Says

DUBAI (Sputnik) – Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has left for Russia to attend a meeting of BRICS foreign ministers, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said on Sunday. The ministerial meeting of the BRICS group of developing economies will take place in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod from June 10-11. Russia’s sous-sherpa for BRICS, Pavel Knyazev, estimated that about 20-25 nations were expected to attend. “Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry left Sunday morning for the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod to attend a meeting of BRICS foreign ministers,” the spokesman was quoted as saying by the Middle East News Agency. Russia assumed the rotating presidency of the group of the world’s largest emerging economies on January 1. Until recently, the organization consisted of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It admitted four new full members in January: Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

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Egypt Considers Possibility of Payments With Russia in National Currencies, Trade Minister Says

CAIRO (Sputnik) – The public and private sectors in Egypt are discussing the possibility of payments with Russia in national currencies, Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Ahmed Samir told Sputnik on Monday. “Discussions are now underway in Egypt between stakeholders in the public and private sectors, as well as with the Central Bank of Egypt to explore ways to commercially settle between the two countries in national currencies and work to find a mechanism to realize this,” Samir said. Earlier, Egyptian Financial Minister Mohamed Maait told Sputnik, that Egypt would want to increase the role of the national currencies of Russia and Egypt in trade operations. “Trading in the Chinese yuan and Russian ruble will be of great importance for Egypt. We have commercial and economic agreements with these countries, and we are currently discussing all these issues with specialized institutions,” the minister said. The diversification of currencies used in trade will result in significant economic profit, the politician added.

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