Sudan agrees to hand over island to Turkey for rebuilding - Erdogan

12:26 • 26.12.17



Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on December 25 that Sudan has agreed to hand over Suakin Island temporarily to Turkey for rebuilding, Hurriyet Daily News reports.


Suakin, one of the oldest seaports in Africa, was used by African Muslims who set out for pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.


Ottomans used the port city to secure Hejaz province - present-day western Saudi Arabia - from attackers using the Red Sea front. 


Erdogan said Turkey has invested around $650 million in Sudan, including $300 million worth of direct investments.


“Foreign direct investment from Turkey to Sudan should increase to over $1 billion in the short term,” he added.


“Around a $500 million trade volume [in 2016] between the two countries is not enough. In the coming years, it will be $1 billion, but we are targeting $10 billion.”


Erdogan said his country was aware of the economic potential of Africa and Sudan, and encouraged Turkish businesspeople to invest in the country.


He also asked Turkish investors attending the forum to increase their investments in Sudan.


“There is a president [Omar al-Bashir] and people who are sincerely inviting you and opening your way to invest in Sudan,” he said.


The defense industry will be among the Turkish investments in the country, Erdogan added.


Erdogan will leave Sudan early December 26 for a one-day visit to Chad and will then head to Tunisia.


Turkey’s exports to Sudan totaled $328.5 million in the January-October period this year while imports from the country stood at $78.3 million.


Erdogan is being accompanied by a large delegation including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz, Agriculture Minister Ahmet Eshref Fakibaba, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmush, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and a delegation of around 200 Turkish businesspeople.





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