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UK Under-Secretary of foreign affairs visits Khartoum on Monday

January 7, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Saturday announced that the Permanent Under-Secretary at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Simon McDonald, would visit Khartoum on Monday accompanied by a number of senior British officials.

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Sir Simon McDonald (FCO-Photo)

In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir said the “British delegation will hold official talks on ways to strengthen bilateral relations between Sudan and Britain in all fields”.

He pointed that the visit, which will last for three days, comes within the framework of enhancing cooperation and coordination in the regional and international forums besides the recent peace developments in Sudan.

Khidir described the visit as “one of the fruits” of the strategic dialogue between the Sudan and the United Kingdom, saying it comes at the invitation of Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdel-Ghani Al-Nai’m.

According to the statement, the British delegation will visit South Darfur state to inspect development projects funded by the UK government.

The delegation will also meet with Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and the acting Minister of Investment and International Cooperation.

Si McDonald, as the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Office, is responsible for advising the Foreign Secretary and the ministerial team on British foreign policy.

In an interview with Sudan Tribune in March 2015, former UK Ambassador to Khartoum Peter Tibber acknowledged differences between his country and Sudan but revealed that the two nations started a dialogue upon request from Khartoum to push forward bilateral ties.

Meetings between the two countries started in March 2016 in Khartoum and considered the first talks of its kind at this level in 25 years. Also, the two sides held similar meetings in London last October.

The two sides agreed to exchange of visits at the level of senior officials from the two countries along with increasing cooperation in the fields of economy, investment, culture and the fight against extremism and illegal immigration.

During his visit to Khartoum last September, UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan Chris Trott said he is optimistic about the future of relations between Khartoum and London, pointing to the historical relation between the two countries.

He expressed hope that Sudan and UK develop their relation to serve the interests of the two nations.