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The Future of Sudanese-Indian Bilateral Relations

Ahmed Hassan Hurga

Sudan-India bilateral relations are old and have deep roots; we can say that relations between the two countries are witnessing a great development in all fields. The historical relations between the two sides is a model and at the same time is distinguished, this comes as a result of the keenness of the two countries which played an important role in developing the relationship and pushed it ahead. The two States are succeeding to promote and unify their stances towards the challenges, which are facing them in regional and international Forums. Who follows the relations between India and Sudan will know that an Indian liaison office was set up in Khartoum in April 1955, several months before Sudan’s independence in January 1956.

Over 30,000 Sudanese have graduated from Indian universities and several Sudanese girls are named Hind. This is just some contemporary evidence of the warmth and goodwill that Sudanese have for India. Sudan’s relations with India go back in history to the time of the Nilotic and Indus Valley civilizations. There is evidence of contacts and possibly trade 5,000 years ago through Mesopotamia. The ancient Kush Kingdom Sudan just south of the first Nile cataract has deep roots in relations with India and reached apogee some 2,000 years ago. In the political field, India and Sudan have developed their relations by forming their joint committee in January 1995 was upgraded to a joint commission at the Ministerial level in June 1997.

The India-Sudan joint Ministerial Commission first met in November 1997 at New Delhi and again in Khartoum in April 2000. The two governments keen to promote their bilateral relations had first consultations between the two foreign offices were held in September 2000 in Khartoum, the second in June 2001 in New Delhi, the third in Khartoum in December 2002, and fourth in New Delhi in February 2005. The next is due in Khartoum. In the field of humanitarian assistance, we find that India donated tents and medicines for flood victims in Gezira State in 1978 and gifted 22,560 tonnes of wheat in 1995 and another 6,000 tonnes in 1987.

Following devastating floods in Khartoum in late 1996, India airlifted urgently needed medicines. In October 2003, India announced a great of 50,000 US dollars of medicines for the victims of the floods in the Kassala region. In response to the Sudanese government’s request, India also offered 20,000 tonnes of wheat as humanitarian assistance to the people of Darfur in March 2005. Sudan and India struggled to overcome colonies, India succeeded in some areas whereas Sudan moved more effectively in some other areas. There is a need to show and learn from the experience of others. Within the context of nation-building issues like democratic governance, two countries had been strong advocates of South-South cooperation.

They have taken initiatives to effect South-South cooperation in several sectors like energy, which used to operate exclusively under the North-South framework. Sudan has gone out of its way to thwart the pressure of established major oil lobbies to facilitate India’s investment in oil production and transportation. Similarly, India has gone for its ever-largest investment overseas in a single sector. Besides this, there are several sectors in which India and Sudan, have complementary for development cooperation. In the field of economic ties, we find that Sudan India economic ties are developed and progressed so that Sudan has impressed upon India for the speedy establishment of a direct banking mechanism between the two countries to boost two-way trade and investment.

At present, Indian businesspersons have to depend on European or African banks for their banking requirements relating to business transactions and investments. The effect old war in Sudan was over and there is a dawn of peace in all parts of Sudan and this encourages the right time for two friendly countries to strengthen good relations and top the immense trade and business opportunities that exist between the two countries which keen to promote the trade cooperation between them, generally, the trade cooperation between the two countries was on the rise, there was the tremendous potential the needed to be topped and promoted in upcoming future. Sudan provides not opportunities in trade, but also agriculture, food processing, education, infrastructure, mining all of these are provided in Sudan, which reached the investment’s laws, made by the Khartoum government to attract foreign investment.

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