Iranian leader Ahmadinejad set to visit Sudan

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will start on Sunday a two-day official visit to Sudan, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said.

During the visit, Ahmadinejad will hold talks with Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir “on bilateral ties and regional issues of common concern.”

Despite the Sunni-Shiite divide between the two countries, Sudan and Iran have increased their bilateral cooperation in recent years to include economic, military, and nuclear issues.

Sudan has publicly appeared as a supporter of Iran’s right to enrich uranium for “peaceful” nuclear purposes.

In 2006, Al-Bashir called Iran’s enrichment of uranium “a great victory for the Islamic world” and said that he supported Iran’s right to its peaceful nuclear program. In March 2008, Sudan and Iran signed a military cooperation agreement.

Iran is interested in increasing its investment in Sudan’s economy, while Khartoum may have to rely heavily on supplies of discounted oil from Tehran after losing its oil-rich South in partition vote this year