Sudan’s Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Hussein signed a military cooperation agreement with his Qatari counterpart Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah in Doha over the weekend.
A statement issued by Sudan government said that Hussein and Al-Attiyah on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on military cooperation between them in various fields.
“The signing ceremony was attended by the chief of staff of the Qatari armed forces Maj. Gen. Ghanim bin Shaheen al-Ghanim, Sudanese ambassador to Qatar Yasir Khadr Khalaf Allah, and a number of senior military officers from both sides,” said in the statement.
The Sudanese minister praised the strong relations between Sudan and Qatar, adding this deal confirms the common desire to elevate them towards wider horizons for the benefit of the two brotherly peoples.
In his statement to the press, Hussein said the deal represents a significant step towards strengthening the existing relations between Doha and Khartoum, especially between the two armed forces.
He also hailed the Qatari efforts to end Darfur conflict and to achieve peace in Sudan.
However, the statements do not give details about the military agreement.
The signed deal is the first of its kind between Sudan and a Gulf Arab country. It is not clear if it represents a shift in the strong military relations with Iran, but in any case it benefits to the Sudanese army, observers say.
Sudan in the past provided military personnel to the Qatari army. Qatar is also a strong ally for the United States in the region as it hosts the military bases of the American forces in the Gulf.
Last July, the United States signed an agreement to sell the Gulf Arab ally Apache attack helicopters and Patriot and Javelin air-defence systems valued at $11 billion.