KHARTOUM, (SUDANOW)—In a discourse with SUDANOW, the Ambassador of Jordan to Khartoum, HE Ayd Jameel al-Dararjah spoke on the history of the Jordanian-Sudanese relations with emphasis on the bilateral economic, agricultural and industrial cooperation between the two countries. The interview ran as follows:
Q: YE, could you tell us of the start of the diplomatic representation between your country and Sudan?
A:The diplomatic relations began in 1956 and about 10 years later the embassies were opened in the two countries. The relations are good and distinguished, citing an example that should be followed by the sister Arab countries. No discord has occurred between the two countries over the past decades but, instead, their positions were identical on the bilateral, Arab and international levels. Moreover, there are extensive social ties between the two friendly peoples in addition to common factors of tolerance and cordiality for the sake of the supreme Arab interests. The bilateral relations are sponsored by HM King Abdulla of the Hashemite Jordanian Kingdom and HE President Omar al-Beshir of the Republic of Sudan. Jordan always sides with the Sudan on internal problems it has been facing since two or more decades ago. Jordan also took a positive position in defense of the Sudan and efforts by the Sudanese Government for achieving
stability all over the Sudan.
Q:YE, Jordan occupies a commendable position in the provision of health service and remarkable accomplishments have been achieved in Jordan, a matter that has made great numbers of Sudanese nationals travel to Jordan in search for medical treatmenedical treatment in Jordan.t. How about the health cooperation between the two countries?
A:The Jordanian-Sudanese health cooperation began with Kass Hospital in Darfur region which was built in the 1980s to extend health aid to the people of that region. About 16,000 patients visited Jordan with their relatives for medical treatment. The Sudanese brothers are treated just like the Jordanians with regards to medical treatment fees in the private hospitals. There is a department in the Ministry of Health for receiving complaints or comments on the medical treatment in Jordan. Our Government offers 10 free-of-charge medical grants for our Sudanese brothers, covering various specializations, including renal transplants, and cancerous diseases under the current health protocol between the two countries.
Q;YE, could you speak to us on the relations of economic cooperation between Jordan and Sudan?
A:We wish the economic relations rise up to the ambitions of the two leaderships. However, those relations cover all fields as there are 18 agreements, protocols and memoranda of understanding of cooperation in all cultural, educational, economic, agricultural, technical and police fields as well as in the spheres of communication and transport. Sessions of the Joint Jordanian-Sudanese High Commission were convened alternately in Amman and Khartoum. The Sudanese Vice-President heads the Sudanese side and the Prime Minister of Jordan heads the Jordanian side of the Joint High Commission which will hold its coming session in the next two months and in which a large number of concerned Sudanese ministers will take part. The meetings of the Commission are aimed t reactivation of the existing agreements and strengthening the relations of cooperation. We look forward to upgrading the bilateral trade exchange and to opening a sea route between the ports of Aqaba and Port Sudan in addition to boosting the air transport.
Q: YE, How about the academic cooperation?
A:There is considerable cooperation between the two countries in the fields of education. There are many Jordanian students following studies at the university and postgraduate levels under the existing relevant protocol. The cooperation agreement provides for 15 scholarships of medicine in addition to 50 other medicine scholarships against private expenses. Moreover, there are 400 Jordanian students following postgraduate studies (Master and Doctorate degrees) in the Sudan at their own expense.
Q: YE, investment is the onset of cooperation between countries; what is the status of this activity between Jordan and Sudan
A:The Jordanian investment in the Sudan totals 1.5 billion US dollars placed in different fields, including steel, cement, plastic and food industries. As regards investment in the agricultural sector, a company known as Bashair was established south of Bagair region for both farming and animal breeding. Jordan imports live cattle, meat, sesame and some leather products from the Sudan. In return, it exports to the Sudan medicines, electrical appliances and plastic products. I believe there is a wider scope of cooperation between the two countries.
Q: What efforts is the embassy making for reactivation and upgrading the Jordanian investment in the Sudan?
A: We always look for what is in the interest of the two countries and what strengthens the bonds of cooperation in all spheres. A commercial attaché has been attached to the embassy six months ago and is now exerting commendable efforts for upgrading the relations of economic cooperation and, for this purpose, he is making contacts the relevant ministries. Jordan is currently taking part in the International Fair of Khartoum by 20 Jordanian companies.
Q: YE, the Sudan possesses tremendous mineral resources, including gold. Is there any Jordanian contribution in this connection?
A: Yes. Jordan makes contributions in this field through Princely Company, a Jordanian private firm, that operates in the Red Sea sector on 2,500 square kilometers, allocating a capital of 57 million Euros. It has begun studies and research activities since several years ago and we expect that the actual production will start during the first half of this year. There are promising signs of the existence of large amounts of gold and other minerals. I met the Sudanese Minister of Minerals who underlined the need for expansion of cooperation in this field.
Q: YE, could you brief us on your country’s cooperation in the fields of training and modern technology?
A: Yes. We are in continued cooperation in the field of exchanging experience and training in statistics, accountancy and taxation. We have plans for training Sudanese personnel in fields of taxation acknowledgement and VAT for the Sudan to benefit from the Jordanian experience in these spheres.
Q: YE, could you speak to us on the maritime line project proposed to be stretched between Sudan and Jordan?
A: The two countries have been thinking for two years of establishing sea route between Port Sudan and Aqaba port of Jordan for shortening the distance between the two countries and saving time and cost. It is an advanced service for moving goods and passengers. The project will be discussed by the Joint High Commission in its forthcoming meeting. We are also considering meetings between the Jordanian and Sudanese businessmen of the private sector for boosting ties of economic and commercial cooperation. I expect next year will witness an extensive partnership between Jordan and Sudan in the fields of investment and exchange of experience.
Q: YE, we know that Jordan has remarkably advanced in the drug manufacture. How can the Sudan benefit from this experience?
A: Yes. There is cooperation in this regard Pharmaland Factory has been opened last year. It belongs to a Jordanian company which has numerous factories in 17 countries. It manufactures 42 essential drugs and it cuts down the imported drug invoice for the Sudanese national.
Q: YE, what is the number of the Jordanian community members in the Sudan?
A: We do not have the exact number of the Jordanians in the Sudan. The figure we have is that there are 50 Jordanian nationals formally resident in the Sudan, while 1,500 others pay visits from time to time to follow up their businesses. We thank God the community suffer no problems, except for minor ones related to financial remittances which we continuously try to solve in coordination with the concerned authorities.
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