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Turkey remains committed to back Sudan: Erdogan + VIDEO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said his country remains committed to support Sudan.

Speaking at Khartoum University in Sudanese capital after being awarded an honorary doctorate, Erdogan said Turkey would continue to be with the Sudanese people through its institutions and organizations.

The Turkish president said he especially asked Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to allow Turkey to restore artifacts in Suakin port city.

"There are mosques of Hanafi and Shafi’i, which are restored by TIKA [Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency]," he said.

The president blamed the West for “devastation”of Suakin.

"This is the characteristic of the West [...]", said Erdogan, adding that he is more than pleased that Turkey will restore and renovate those places.

Suakin, one of the oldest seaports in Africa, was used by African Muslims who set out for pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Ottomans used the port city to secure the Hejaz province -- present-day western Saudi Arabia -- from attackers using the Red Sea front.

Turkish President said Turkey and Sudan also can cooperate and take a new step in the field of tourism.

Erdogan recalled the past, saying that people used to go to Jeddah to perform Umrah (minor Islamic pilgrimage) in Mecca through Sudan. "Those roads shall be built again, we shall renovate."

Sudan-Turkey University

Erdogan further stated the future will be of the African continent before the end of this century.

“As long as we stand together, we make effort and do not bow down as we did not bow down on [the issue of] Jerusalem,” he added.

Tension has mounted in the Palestinian territories since Dec. 6, when U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, drawing protest and condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other top Turkish officials have remained at the forefront of international opposition to the U.S. move.

Last Thursday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution -- by a vote of 128 to 9 -- calling on Trump to reverse the decision.

Erdogan said the Islamic world is once again on the center of dirty plots as sectarian differences are fueled, ethnic separations are deepened and people who share the same land for centuries are set against each other as in some countries of Africa.

"They are using terrorist organizations as subcontractors just like Daesh, PKK, PYD, in order to achieve their goals," Erdogan said, citing an Irish author saying, "Imperialists sniffing out oil are more dangerous than sharks sniffing out blood".

Erdogan also said that around 800 students learn Turkish in Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center in Khartoum, and a Turkish language department will open in Khartoum University.

Erdogan said that Turkey and Sudan worked on another project to establish a Sudan-Turkey University.

Erdogan's visit, the first by a Turkish president, was welcomed by his Sudanese counterpart who said it would boost relations between the two countries.