By Ahmed Mohamed Abdi*
The two countries are expected to officially sign the agreement today.
Sudan’s strategic location has drawn regional powers with competing interests to its vast agricultural lands and Red Sea ports.
“The transport minister, Makkawi [Mohammed al-Awad], said two docks have been rehabilitated to receive fifth generation ships with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes. He pointed out that the project will be implemented in three stages, beginning with $500m and ending with $4bn,” SUNA reports.
“The project will be completed by 2020”, the website of Dubai-based Sudanese TV, Ashrooq, quoted the minister as saying.
Reports say that Sudan will receive 51% of the project’s shares and Qatar will get the remainder.
Sudan has reportedly leased Suakin to Turkey. However, Ankara has denied that it plans to build a naval base on the island.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia fear that Turkey is planning to establish a military base on the island in a bid to control shipping lanes in the Red Sea.