Congo Leader Visits Saudi Arabia Seeking Infrastructure Funding

(Bloomberg) -- Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso traveled to Saudi Arabia to request funding for infrastructure projects, the central African nation’s government spokesman said.

Sassou Nguesso was in Riyadh Sunday, where he was received by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Thierry Moungalla said by phone from the Congolese capital, Brazzaville. The president was accompanied by officials including Finance Minister Calixte Ganongo and Maixent Ominga, the head of Congo’s state oil company.

The trip follows Congo’s announcement in January, during a visit by the Saudi foreign minister to Brazzaville, of its intention to apply for membership of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The country has sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth-biggest oil reserves, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

Congo’s government is seeking funding for projects including a 530-kilometer (329-mile) railway linking Brazzaville to the port city of Pointe Noire, Moungalla said.

Officials also discussed ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation, according to a statement published on the Saudi government’s website.

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