Sudan's president reassured of Chinese investments

AP News
Posted: Jun 29, 2011 8:36 AM
Sudan's president reassured of Chinese investments

Sudan's president, wanted on a war crimes warrant, won pledges Wednesday from China and its state-owned energy firm they will continue investing in his country after its resource-rich southern region becomes independent next month.

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti said Wednesday that President Omar al-Bashir came to China hoping to hear Sudan's biggest diplomatic and economic backer would continue to invest in northern Sudan's oil, agriculture and mining sectors.

"We had good assurances from his excellency President Hu Jintao that China would go on working with Sudan hand in hand whether politically or financially or economically," Karti said.

Karti also said al-Bashir also visited the Beijing headquarters of China National Petroleum Corp., Asia's biggest oil and gas producer by volume, and was assured the state-owned firm would continue to invest in the north.

CNPC, which made a 20-year, multibillion-dollar development deal with Sudan in 2007, signed an agreement Tuesday with the government to boost cooperation. A company statement did not give details.

South Sudan's declaration of independence will be the culmination of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war that killed more than 2 million people.

China has major oil investments in Sudan and has long had close ties with the leaders of the north. It has been courting support in the oil-producing south.

Al-Bashir and Hu witnessed the signing of an economic and technological cooperation agreement, and a pact for a bridge project in the east of the country. No details were immediately given.