By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia on Thursday welcomed the “strategic” relations with Sudan in wake of the ouster of the longtime president of the North African country.
Speaking at a news conference in Yalta city on the southern coast of the Crimean Peninsula, Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Moscow is glad with the “unchanged relations” with Sudan.
"We welcome Sudan's authorities statement that despite the change of power in Sudan as a result of mass protests, the nature of bilateral relations between Russia and Sudan -- based on long-standing traditions of friendship and mutually benefited cooperation -- remains unchanged and is assessed in Khartoum as strategic," she said.
Zakharova said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov visited Khartoum on Wednesday where he met with Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling Military Transitional Council (MTC) and his deputy Mohamed Daglo.
Last week, President Omar al-Bashir was ousted by the Sudanese army following months of popular protests against his 30-year rule.
The MTC now plans to run the nation’s affairs for a two-year transitional period during which presidential elections will eventually be held.
- Russia, China, US to meet for Afghan peace
Also speaking about the Afghan conflict, Zakharova announced a Moscow meeting of presidential envoys of Russia, China, and the U.S. for Afghanistan.
On April 25, Russia’s Zamir Kabulov, Zalmay Khalilzad of U.S. and China’s Deng Xijun will discuss the launch of national reconciliation process in Afghanistan, the spokeswoman said.
"The meeting is part of the efforts of the world's players to create an enabling environment for the Afghan peace process," Zakharova said.
Russia is in favor of combining these efforts with the work of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan which represents interests of the states in the region, she added.
The raging Afghan conflict is in its bloody 18th year, with thousands of lives lost and millions forced to flee their homes.