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Friends of Sudan committed to holding donors’ conference next June: official

Friends of Sudan meet in Khartoum on 11 December 2019 (SUNA Photo)
April 4, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese official said Saturday that The Friends of Sudan confirmed their commitment to holding the donors’ conference in mid-June despite the global coronavirus outbreak.

The Friends of Sudan group has to hold a preparatory meeting in Paris at the end of this month, before the donors’ conference in June. However, the meeting is likely to be held via video conference due to the pandemic.

The Chairwoman of the National Investment Commission Heba Mohamed Ali, who is tasked with the Friends of Sudan, meetings follow-up told Sudan Tribune that the group members held consultations with the government last week.

"Even if the Paris (preparatory) meeting does not take place, the United Nations, the World Bank and all the members of Friends of Sudan group have pledged to support Sudan in tackling the coronavirus pandemic and reiterated commitment to hold the donors’ conference on time," said Mohamed Ali.

"More presumably, the donors’ conference will be held via video conference unless global health conditions change," she added.

The Friends of Sudan group includes African Development Bank, Canada, Egypt, European Union, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, The Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States, World Bank.

During a meeting held in Stockholm on 18 February, the participants said that substantial financial support to be provided to Sudan in line with the transitional government’s priorities.

The Sudanese government which faces huge economic challenges counts on the conference to have the means to implement a series of reforms it had presented during the past meetings.

However, it is agreed that international investors and the World Bank would not be able to borrow money to the impoverished country without Sudan’s removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

On April 1, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok had a telephone call from U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

"It was a very insightful and promising discussion about the policy and statutory requirements for consideration of recession of Sudan’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation," he said after the call.

"I am highly appreciative of your support and I look forward to reaping the fruits of our efforts!" he further added.