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Published: Wednesday April 2, 2014 MYT 9:25:03 PM
Updated: Wednesday April 2, 2014 MYT 9:27:21 PM

Sudan says Qatar to deposit $1 billion as part of aid package

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (R) speaks to Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani upon his arrival at Khartoum Airport for an official visit April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (R) speaks to Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani upon his arrival at Khartoum Airport for an official visit April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Qatar will deposit $1 billion (601 million pounds) at Sudan's central bank as part of an aid package, Khartoum said on Wednesday, a move likely to worsen neighbouring Egypt's already tense relations with Doha.

The announcement by Sudanese Finance Minister Badr El-Din Mahmoud came at the end of a one-day state visit to Khartoum by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Mahmoud, speaking to journalists at Khartoum airport, said Qatar also planned to invest in large agricultural and energy projects in Sudan, a country vital to Egyptian interests because of its location upstream on the river Nile.

Mahmoud said the deposit was the second part of an aid package but declined to give details of the first part.

In a written statement, Sheikh Tamim said his visit "comes to confirm the two countries' desire for continued dialogue and coordination on issues of mutual interest".

Egypt has accused Qatar of meddling in its internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that was ejected from power by the army last year after mass protests against President Mohamed Mursi's rule.

(Reporting by Khaled Abdel Aziz; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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