- Russian-Sudanese business cooperation has been picking up pace in recent years. Why?
Sudan is the country with huge resources. We have the historical relation. You know the last year we celebrated 60 years of relations between these two countries. We have a really deep relation between these two countries. This is what encourages growing commercial development of relations between the two countries. We can take it further. Russia knows that Sudan has many resources in many fields. There are mining companies but we want to see them further in other fields, in oil production, but we want to see more Russian companies in agriculture. You know, we have huge resources, we have fertile lands, we have mass water resources and I think Sudan can be a good partner of Russia in this field.
- What are the most promising areas for our partnership?
Well, I think the most promising and a priority for Sudan is agriculture. You know food security became a big problem worldwide.
I think that using Sudanese land, water resources and Russian technology, we can help really in ensure food security not only in the region but worldwide.
So I think that these will be the most important fields. We also need more cooperation in mining. We have also huge resources in mining and oil. And this will make our relationship more strategic.
- What benefits do you offer to foreign businesses? Why is Russia so excited over Sudan? Are there some benefits which Sudan can suggest?
We have a very encouraging investment code. With small investment you get huge benefits, it is one of the priorities for the private sector. Sudan is an emerging country. I think that working in Sudan many companies can gain a lot than in other countries. Some companies are happy with 10-15 percent profits. I tell them that here in Sudan you can have 200-300 percent. There are so many opportunities.
- Next question is about terrorism. What role does Sudan play in the global fight against terrorism and what kind of coordination do Russia and Sudan need to have in this area?
In the region our country has been combating terrorism, of course. There are a lot of threats that come from terrorist groups. Going from the Horn of the Africa we have al-Shabaab in Somali and then they have Boko Haram in West Africa, there is al-Qaeda.
If you look at the map, you can see that the only stable country is Sudan. It is not easy because we invest a lot in combating terrorism and we have a lot of information in this regard. This is why many countries want to cooperate with Sudan. And we are open in this sense and I think our cooperation with Russia in combating terrorism is really ideal and I want to get it together to other countries also.
- My question is about Syria. What should the world community do to restore peace in Syria. Because Russia and Sudan have the similar positions in different spheres and also including the Syria settlement. What should be done by the international community to restore peace?
Well, I think we need more cooperation among the international community regarding the situation in Syria became it is very serious. In these sense, I think most of us should encourage all the Syrian parties be it military or political opposition or the Syrian government to act seriously for peace and stability.
Otherwise the situation will be out of control. It will really affect all the region. When I say the region I don’t mean the Middle East. I mean Europe and Russia and everywhere. Because terrorism has no borders.
You remember when that started in the early 1990s in Afghanistan which is miles away from Europe and the Middle East, after the end of the Afghan conflict, terrorism has spread everywhere. It had the capacity to get everywhere. Syria is a very tough issue.
Second is we have a very negative humanitarian impact of the Syrian conflict. Millions of people are everywhere, in Turkey, in Sudan, in Lebanon, in Jordan and even in Europe and the make a lot of trouble to the international community.
So let’s work together for peace and stability in Syria and pushing the two sides to make everything possible to have peace and stability.
-Are our two countries planning to cancel visas?
- At the previous meeting with Sergey Lavrov, it was in New York on September 22, both parties decided to achieve a breakthrough in trade and economic ties. What is the current status of relations in these two areas, some maybe fresh initiatives?
In the economy and trade I think we have made a good progress. It is not sufficient, I think we can do more, but I think that it is a good start. As I told you before in mining there are a lot of companies, and there are more companies coming. But we think we can go further in other fields, too. We are opening all doors to Russia. We think we need more Sudanese to come to Russia to know better the country, to build capabilities, to know their counterparts and that will help to boost relations in trade and the economy.
We know that the Sudanese President is going to visit Russia. What is the purpose of his visit?
The presidential visit is a very important event and it comes after a long work in investment and exchange in many fields. Now I think we have a good relation in trade and the economy and culture, combating international terrorism, in political relations and this is why we think that the visit of the President is important. This visit is welcomed now by the Russian authorities. We are looking forward to this visit.
- We know it is not your first time in Moscow so my final question is a little bit private. What is your favorite place in our capital of Russia?
I like your history very much. Today I asked people about my hobby – the buildings. Fortunately I came during summer. Now the climate in Moscow and in Sudan is the same. I will put on my T-shirt and go out now to see the capital.