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Sudan will continue bilateral contacts with U.S.: foreign minister

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July 13, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The delay of permanent sanctions relief will not affect relations and contacts between the two countries, said the Sudanese foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour on Thursday minimising the significance of a presidential decision to suspend negotiating committee.

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Ibrahim Ghandour (Photo Suna)

Washington on Wednesday postponed for additional three months its awaited decision on the definitive cancellation of economic embargo citing the need to take more time to assess the tough process.

In response to this unexpected decision, Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir announced the freeze of all negotiations with the United States on the sanctions until 12 October.

In a press conference held in Khartoum on Thursday, Ghandour said relations between the two countries are strained due to the delay to lift sanctions. However, he stressed that his government had no intention to escalate tensions with the United States and that the situation will not return to the state of intense hostility that characterised the relations between the two countries in the past years.

"We will not slip into the square of confrontation," he said. "But we hope that the U.S. Administration reconsider its decision and abide by what has been agreed between the two sides."

Commenting on the presidential decision to suspend negotiations on the repeal of sanctions, Ghandour said that the measure is different from the bilateral talks between institutions in both countries.

"Sudan will continue to cooperate on the level of bilateral relations," he stressed.

He admitted that Bashir’s decision meant to protest against the conduct of the US administration.

He added that President Donald Trump himself suspended the work of the assessment committee, and reiterated that Khartoum has no more to offer at the level of the committee, after having fulfilled all the obligations.

The American interagency team said Wednesday that the 90-day postponement intends to handle human rights and religious freedom but also to ensure Sudan’s commitment to UN sanctions on North Korea.

The move comes after a letter by 53 Congressmen to President Donald Trump where they cast doubt over Khartoum’s commitment to the five-track framework and added that “Sudan government has one of the worst human rights records in the world".

The five tracks over the lift of sanctions includes the fight against terrorism, Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Sudan’s role in the peace process in South Sudan, Sudan’s peace and the humanitarian situation in Darfur region, the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

The Sudanese foreign minister said he is convinced that the extension of review period for three months sends a negative message to the rebel movements in Sudan and leads to their intransigence and insistence on the continuation of the war. Further, he warned against military escalation and attempts to tamper with the security of the country.

"We are committed to the cessation of hostilities, but we will respond to anyone who dares to tamper with the security and stability of the Sudan, and we call on the wise men of the rebel movements to join the peace process," he said.

In addition, Ghandour denied reports saying that the four Arab countries that cut ties with Qatar are behind the delay of the permanent revocation.

"Sudan is adhering to its reconciliatory stance on the Gulf crisis and calls for a solution through the mediation of Kuwait," he said adding that President al-Bashir will visit Kuwait and the UAE next Sunday.

Press reports said the four countries asked Washington to delay the lift of sanctions in order to put pressure on the Sudanese government which refuses to sever relations with Qatar.

The minister also revealed that President Salva Kiir Mayardit would visit Khartoum in the coming weeks at the invitation of President Omer al-Bashir, stressing that the Government of Sudan seeks to stabilise the nascent South Sudanese state.

(ST)

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  • 14 July 2017 10:48, by Kalo

    These are different statements,Foreign Minister tried to cool down what the unplanned rubbish degree issued by the President criminal Albashir but all will be in vain.

    repondre message

  • 14 July 2017 11:21, by ludo king

    The information you share is very useful. It is closely related to my work and has helped me grow. Thank you!
    bubble am, ludo king

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