The US Warship USS Winston Churchill docked in Port Sudan on Monday, where it was received by the Commander of Port Sudan Marine Base, Marine Col Ibrahim El Nayer and the US Charge d’Affaires and the Military Attaché of the American Embassy in Khartoum. On Sunday, a Russian Navy frigate was received with similar honours.
At the reception ceremony on the quayside, Col El Nayer and the Director of the Marine Administration of the ship explained that the visit of the US warship to Sudan comes in the context of the developments of Sudan-US relations and strengthening of joint cooperation between the two countries in all fields.
“Together with Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government, we are striving to build a partnership between our two armed forces,” said Rear Adm. Michael Baze, director of maritime headquarters, Navy Africa, US Sixth Fleet says in a statement on the website of US Africa Command. “In just the past few months, we have already seen an increase in military-to-military engagements.”
This visit will provide an opportunity for the Sudanese and US military leaders to engage in staff talks to further explore opportunities to work together and establish a basis for a relationship committed to security and stability in the region. The Sudanese officials will also tour the Winston Churchill followed by a reception given by both the Sudanese and US military, the statement reads.
“We look forward to fortifying our friendship through increased interactions at sea and ashore,” Adm Baze said.
USS Winston Churchill is deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of operations, which is headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, and conducts joint and naval operations in support of coalition and regional partners, and US national security interests in the Middle East.
The visit of the USS Winston Churchill follows a visit last week by USNS Carson City, a rapid transport ship of the US Military Maritime Transport Command “to enhance maritime security in the region” in a new indication of a post-embargo thaw in Sudan-US relations this year. It was the fist US Navy ship to visit Sudan in at least 25 years, according to the US Embassy in Khartoum.
The Sudanese Naval Forces also received the Russian Frigate which docked in Port Sudan on Sunday. The visit by the Russian naval vessel falls within the framework of progressing relations between Sudan and Russia and boosting cooperation between the Sudanese Navy with its Russian counterpart.
The official reception by the Sudanese Navy was also attended by the Military Attaché to the Russian Embassy in Khartoum .
The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reports that the captain of the Russian ship will pay visits to a number of military facades, the Sea Ports Corporation, and the Institute of Marine Research in Port Sudan.