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Sudan’s Bashir agrees to resume discussions with US on bilateral relations

November 2, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir agreed on Sunday to resume discussions with the United States on bilateral relations, the official news agency reported.

Sudan's foreign minister, Ali Karti (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Sudan’s foreign minister, Ali Karti (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
The announcement was made after a meeting between Bashir and foreign minister Ali Karti, where they discussed the recent phone conversation the latter had with US secretary of state John Kerry.

On Thursday, the foreign ministry said Karti received a telephone call from his American counterpart and they discussed ways to improve bilateral relations.

“The American minister expressed his country’s desire to hold direct negotiations with Sudan on outstanding issues,” the ministry said in an official statement.

During the telephone conversation, Karti reminded Kerry of the broken promises over the lifting of sanctions, it stressed.

In press statement following his meeting with Bashir, Karti said that the latter instructed him to proceed on a new path to open dialogue with the US, adding that he had briefed Bashir on the details of the phone conversation with Kerry.

“The phone conversation discussed ways for removing obstacles and outstanding issues which hindered relations between the two countries,” he said.

Karti sais they agreed to take certain actions, which he did not mention in detail, regarding ties with Washington, saying that Bashir agreed to continue efforts to open new dialogue with the US.

The foreign minister underscored the existence of a favourable opportunity to start a new path in dialogue with US to overcome the stalled relationship between the two countries.

Last week, Washington renewed economic sanctions on Sudan, saying “the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.

The Sudanese government denounced the decision, accusing the American administration of using “various reasons and arguments to justify its targeting for Sudan which is nothing but political intrigue, clear contradiction and double standards”.

Different sources say that Karti and presidential assistant Ibrahim Ghandour are among those who support the resumption of discussions with Washington to normalise bilateral relations and reach an agreement on the lifting of sanctions.

The sources further say that Bashir instructed officials to end discussions with the US administration following the introduction of new banking measures that Washington set up to monitor the implementation of economic sanctions on Sudan particularly.

Washington admits Sudan’s cooperation in the fight against terrorism, but added new conditions related to the end of the conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

RELATIONS WITH LIBYA

Meanwhile, Karti said he briefed Bashir on his meeting with the Libyan foreign minister during his recent visit to Sudan, saying the meeting discussed the upcoming meeting of neighbouring countries of Libya and ways for bringing Libya’s warring parties to the negotiation table.

He said Sudan has launched an initiative to resolve the Libyan crisis through dialogue, stressing that the initiative will be flagged in an upcoming meeting of Libya’s neighbouring countries which will be held in Khartoum.

Last week, Libya’s internationally recognised premier, Abdullah al-Thani, paid a three-day visit to Khartoum, after accusations that Sudan provided weapons to rival groups controlling Tripoli and central Libya, but are unrecognised by the international community.

Sudan has vehemently denied accusations of backing any side in the Libyan conflict.

(ST)

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