Home | News    Thursday 16 April 2009

US Senator Kerry ‘very hopeful’ upon arrival in Khartoum


April 15, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — Senator John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee arrived to the country today in the evening on a two-day visit during which he will hold talks with Sudanese officials focused on bilateral relations and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement as well as the situation in Darfur.

Sudanese parliament speaker Mohammed al-Hassan al-Ameen, left, with Senator John Kerry upon his arrival Wednesday in Khartoum (AP)

"We are very hopeful that we can make progress on these issues," he stressed in a news briefing at Khartoum airport after his arrival.

Kerry said he was looking forward to holding talks in-depth as there are very important issues to be discussed with the Sudanese government. The US Senator said that he will hold talks on the humanitarian situation in Darfur and the peace process in the war-strife region of Darfur.

His upbeat tone matches that of the US Presidential Envoy Scott Gration, who said April 2 in Khartoum that he came “with my hands open,” expressed hopes for friendship and concluded saying “I love Sudan.”

Kerry is expected to meet Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Presidential Assistant Nafie Ali Nafie, Presidential Adviser Ghazi Salah Eddin Attabani and Foreign Minister Deng Alor.

Also he will visit Al-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur State, where he will meet state officials, the UN hybrid peacekeeping mission and some displaced camps.

Sudanese officials have seemed pleased with outward signs of thawing tensions between the two countries. Apparently pleased with the most recent diplomatic exchange, President Omer Al-Bashir told the opening session of parliament Monday that he welcomes “the positive signs sent by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Islamic world on more than one occasion.”

A US official disclosed to Sudan Tribune yesterday that US Special Envoy frequently raised the issue of expelled aid groups during his recent trip to the country, but that he returned having received no signs of compromise from the Government of Sudan.


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