Global Insider: Turkey, Sudan Maintain a Strong Commercial Partnership

Global Insider: Turkey, Sudan Maintain a Strong Commercial Partnership

Sudanese First Vice President Omar Ali Osman Taha traveled to Turkey recently to participate in the ruling Justice and Development Party’s annual congress. In an email interview, David Shinn, an adjunct professor of international relations at George Washington University and a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, discussed Turkish-Sudanese relations.

WPR: How have Turkey-Sudan relations evolved over the past decade, and what is driving ties on both sides?

David Shinn: Turkey has historical ties with Sudan that date back to the Ottoman period. Ankara recognized the government in Khartoum after its independence in 1956 and soon established an embassy there, while Sudan put an embassy in Ankara much later. The two countries began signing trade, cultural and technical cooperation agreements in the 1980s, a trend that continues. They established an interparliamentary friendship group in 1999. Sudan’s president visited Turkey in 1982 and 2008 and its vice president in 2009 and 2012. Turkey’s prime minister visited Sudan in 2006. Turkey is primarily interested in developing commercial relations with Sudan but also looks to build cultural and political ties with a fellow Islamic country. For its part, Sudan seeks Turkish investment and political support from a sympathetic Muslim country.

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