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Sudan says Qatar to deposit $1B in aid

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani smiles as he is welcomed upon arriving at Khartoum Airport for an official visit April 2, 2014. (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

KHARTOUM: Qatar will deposit $1 billion at Sudan’s central bank as part of an aid package, Khartoum said Wednesday, a move likely to worsen neighboring Egypt’s already tense relations with Doha.

The announcement by Sudanese Finance Minister Badr al-Din Mahmoud came at the end of a state visit to Khartoum by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Mahmoud, speaking to journalists at Khartoum airport, said Qatar also planned to invest in large agricultural and energy projects in Sudan, a country vital to Egyptian interests because of its location upstream on the river Nile.

Mahmoud said the deposit was the second part of an aid package but declined to give details of the first part.

In a written statement, Sheikh Tamim said his visit “comes to confirm the two countries’ desire for continued dialogue and coordination on issues of mutual interest.”

Egypt has accused Qatar of meddling in its internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that was ejected from power by the army last year after mass protests against President Mohammad Morsi’s rule.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 03, 2014, on page 5.

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