Two Iranian warships to dock in Sudan

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 18, 2013 2:27 PM

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Two Iranian warships will dock in Sudan on Wednesday, a Sudanese military spokesman said, the third such visit in less than a year, underlining the close ties between the two countries which are viewed with suspicion by Gulf Arab countries and the West.

Sudan's military spokesman said the ships would dock at Port Sudan later on Wednesday to load water and food in what did not constitute an "official" visit.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency said the two ships comprising Iran's 27th fleet - the Khark helicopter carrier and Sabalan destroyer - had come to "strengthen ties with Khartoum".

Analysts say Sudan, with its poor relations with the West, is an obvious partner for Iran to boost its influence in the region, while Khartoum hopes for trade and military aid.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)