Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) shakes hands with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during their meeting in Khartoum, Sudan, on Dec. 24, 2017. Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Sudan on Sunday, marking the first time that a Turkish president visited the North African country since its independence in 1956. (Xinhua/Mohamed Khidir)
KHARTOUM, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Sudan and Turkey signed on Sunday in Khartoum 12 agreements to boost economic, military and cultural cooperation.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir held talks with his visiting Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, during which they discussed ways to develop bilateral relations in all fields.
The two sides also agreed to establish a joint Strategic Cooperation Council chaired by the two state leaders.
"This (Erdogan's visit) is a historic visit as it is the first time for a Turkish president to visit Sudan. It is also distinguished given the great accompanying ministerial delegation," said Bashir at a joint press conference with Erdogan following the talks.
He said the visit gives rise to a great leap in the ties between the two countries and unveils a new phase in the relations between Khartoum and Ankara.
Erdogan, for his part, reiterated his country's keenness to enhance the economic ties with Sudan, stressing that Sudan and Turkey expect to increase trade volume from present 50 million U.S. dollars to 10 billion dollars.
He further thanked the Sudanese people for backing Turkey in the foiled coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Erdogan also expressed satisfaction over the lifting of the U.S. economic sanctions on Sudan, noting that Sudan had been treated unfairly, but it has overcome the difficulties.
Erdogan on Sunday arrived in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the first stop of his tour in Africa that will also take him to Chad and Tunisia.
Erdogan's visit is the first time that a Turkish president visited Sudan since the independence of the North African nation in 1956.