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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C
flying visit

Zelenskyy holds security talks with Sudanese army general at Shannon Airport

Burhan is the head of Sudan’s army, since he seized power during a coup in 2021.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 23rd 2023, 3:27 PM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR Zelenskyy had an unscheduled meeting in Shannon Airport today with Sudanese army general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The pair discussed security challenges posed by Russia’s invasion, with Zelenskyy saying they aim to ‘intensify’ cooperation between Ukraine and African countries.

The Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland, Larysa Gerasko, was also in attendance.

Sharing the meeting on X, formerly known as Twitter, he expressed his gratitude for Sudan’s “consistent support”.

“At Shannon Airport, I held an unscheduled meeting with President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

“I am grateful for Sudan’s consistent support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zelenskyy said.

“We discussed common security challenges, namely the activities of illegal armed groups financed by Russia.

“I invited him to support the Grain From Ukraine initiative and take part in this year’s summit.

“We considered possible platforms for intensifying cooperation between Ukraine and African countries.”

Burhan is the head of Sudan’s army, since he seized power during a coup in 2021.

He this week said he was open to peace talks with the leader of Sudan’s rebel forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

Dagalo’s group, Rapid Support Forces, is backed by Russian mercenary group Wagner.

The United Nations estimates that more than 5,000 people have died and a further five million have been displaced since the beginning of the civil war.

In a statement, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said the meeting was a “technical stopover, with no bilateral element”.

“As per normal practice for stopovers at this level, Protocol staff of the Department were on the ground to offer practical assistance.”