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Senior British delegation to arrive in Khartoum for bilateral talks

British Ambassador to Sudan Michael Aron (Reuters Photo)

March 27, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A senior British delegation will visit Sudan this week to start the second phase of the strategic dialogue between the two countries, said United Kingdom embassy in Khartoum Monday

In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune, UK embassy said the delegation will be headed by the Director for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Neil Wigan, pointing the visit comes within the framework of pushing the strategic dialogue between Sudan and UK to an advanced stage.

It pointed the delegation would discuss with the Sudanese officials a number of internal and regional issues of common concern including ways to end the conflict in Sudan, combating human trafficking, humanitarian and development assistance besides the cultural ties between the two countries.

Also, the delegation will visit Darfur to inspect the development projects funded by the UK government and the conditions in the war-torn region.

It’s noteworthy that the strategic consultations meetings between the two countries started in March 2016 in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum and considered the first talks of its kind at this level in 25 years.

Sudan and Britain 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 and culture.

During his first visit to Khartoum last September, UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan, Christopher Trott expressed his optimism about the relations between Khartoum and London and expressed hope to strengthening contacts between Sudanese and British peoples.

HOPES FOR FULL LIFT OF U.S. SANCTIONS

Meanwhile, the British ambassador to Khartoum Michael Aron has expressed hope that the U.S. sanctions would be fully lifted within the coming months, expecting 2017 to be a year of opportunities for Sudan.

Aron, who addressed Sudan’s second international forum on minerals Monday, said: “this year will be the year for Sudan to join the international community after the partial lift of sanctions”.

He reiterated his country’s welcome to the partial lift of sanctions, hoping it would be fully lifted on 12 June.

Last January, former President Obama signed an executive order to suspend sanctions against Sudan enabling trade and investment transactions to resume with the east African nation.

In June, Washington will review the situation and may re-establish the suspended measures, if it considers that Khartoum didn’t honour its commitments. But If its finding is positive then the sanctions included in 1997 and 2006 executive orders would be definitively cancelled.

The British ambassador also expressed hope that the coming period would witness more cooperation between Sudan and the UK and in particular regarding minerals investments and to make use of Britain’s permanent membership at the UN Security Council to assist Sudan.

“During my current assignment in Sudan, I noticed that the country is witnessing continuous economic development,” he said.

He pointed the lift of sanctions opens wide horizons for cooperation with other countries.

Aron further praised Sudan’s decision to open a new corridor to transport food aid to the needy population in South Sudan, hailing Khartoum’s support for the South Sudanese refugees.

(ST)