KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Turkey and Sudan have agreed to set up a “strategic cooperation council” to strengthen economic ties, their presidents said at a news conference in Khartoum on Sunday after the first visit by a Turkish leader to the African nation.

The countries hope gradually to increase bilateral trade ties to $10 billion a year from the current $500 million and signed 12 agreements on military, economic and agricultural cooperation.

Sudan’s economy has been struggling since the south seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil output In recent years, Turkey has boosted investments in Sudan.

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