Sudanese foreign
minister Ali
Ahmed Karti
Khartoum, Sudan — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 10 August 2011 – The government of Sudan has granted its main ally and oil buyer China more oil exploration rights as both countries seek to boost their ties.

On Monday, Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi visited the Sudanese capital in the first high-level visit of a Chinese official since South Sudan became independent last month, when he gave the assurance of continued support.

“Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir told the Chinese minister that the Chinese firm China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) would be granted the right to explore for oil in three new blocs,” Sudan’s foreign minister Ali Ahmed Karti told reporters here. He spoke after Yang had met Bashir before leaving yesterday for talks in the southern capital, Juba.

Karti said China had committed itself to develop more than one new oil field in Sudan, but gave no details.