Current Date:

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Khartoum -Washington ... New Chapter

With welcoming words and appreciation Khartoum and Washington have opened a new chapter of cooperation and dialogue, after the 16-month talks which resulted to the cancelation of the 20-year economic sanctions on Sudan. It opened the door for the normalization of bilateral relation and removal of remaining sanctions particularly its removal from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.
The visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and the Sudanese Foreign Minister Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour have endorsed a roadmap for the second phase of talks on normalization of bilateral relations.
Also, during the bilateral meetings in Khartoum, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry formally announced Sudan’s commitment to sever all trade and military ties with North Korea.
Following his arrival to Khartoum Sullivan and his delegation held a closed-door meeting with the Sudanese government delegation headed by Ghandour.
From Washington the State Department issued a statement welcoming "the Government of Sudan’s pledge to sever all trade and military ties with North Korea, adding “Khartoum "will continue engagement on this issue to ensure that this commitment is fully implemented".
"Isolating the North Korean regime is a top priority for the United States, and is a key element to maintaining peace and stability worldwide. The United States is grateful for Sudan’s commitment to take these important steps in the light of the critical threat posed by the DPRK," added the short statement.
In Khartoum, the spokesperson of the Sudanese foreign ministry issued a statement after the meeting saying that Sullivan considered that Khartoum represents the beginning of the second phase of constructive engagement between the two countries.
Ambassador Ghariballah Khidir further said that the visiting U.S. official indicated that the second phase aims at enhancing the positive results of the 5 tracks engagement and achieving further progress in the bilateral cooperation in various fields in order to lift the name of Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and fully normalize relations in the interest of the peoples of the two countries.
Sullivan also met with the Sudanese First Vice President Bakri Hassan Saleh and discussed with him the ongoing process to normalize the bilateral relations.
In statements to the media, the U.S. official said his meeting with the First Vice President dealt with the second phase of the normalization process and the implementation of UN resolutions against North Korea as well as issues related to human rights and religious freedoms, "which are of great importance to the United States".
Sudanese officials insist on the need to remove Sudan from the list of terror states, pointing that the country cannot benefit from the debt relief and international development aid without this measure.
The U.S. in a joint action with the Troika countries seek to encourage Khartoum and the opposition groups to reach a peace agreement based on the African Union-brokered roadmap agreement.
Ghandour told reporters that the talks also dealt with cooperation in regional security and peace, and pointed out that the U.S. side praised the Sudanese role in the South Sudan’s crisis and the host of refugees from the troubled country.

New Tracks

According to Prof. Ghandour Sudan will be busy in the upcoming round of talks in working for lifting Sudan’s name from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, besides writing off Sudan foreign debts, joining the WTO.
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan expressed satisfaction for the cooperation of Sudan in regard to anti-terrorism activities which continued for a long time for the benefit of the two countries and people as well as the region. He affirmed his commitment to set a roadmap for lifting Sudan’s name from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.
Ghandour also said that the two sides agree to set a plan and roadmap with clear tracks to accomplish the upcoming stage, affirming the commitment of the American side to support Sudan in this regard.

Washington Concerns

The US official said that Washington is concern on the issue of Sudan’s cooperation with North Korea and the answer from the Sudan was that there is no any kind of cooperation between Sudan and North Korea and the government is committed to the UNSC resolutions in dealing with N. Korea
On the religious freedoms and human rights, the Sudanese officials affirmed that Sudan that those issues are constitutional and the government is committed to it.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan conveyed Washington concern on the cooperation in peace and security in the region, while Sudanese officials affirmed that Sudan is exerting all efforts to achieve peace in South Sudan besides hosting millions of S. Sudan refugees along with the ongoing endeavours within IGAD and the implementation of what is agreed on during the recent visit of Salva Kiir to Khartoum.

Economic Cooperation

The Sudanese officials emphasized the importance of economic cooperation between Khartoum and Washington after lifting the sanctions. The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said that they are following –up the entrance of US companies to work in Sudan, besides the commitment of the American banks to cooperation with Sudan which will be gradually.
The two sides agree on the importance of exchanging visits to discuss the outstanding issues.
Meanwhile, Ghandour denied the existence of any pre-conditions, affirming that there are commitments which will be executed by both sides.
To sum it up the two sides agree on improving the relations to reach its best along with cooperation to implement what was agreed on and upgrading diplomatic representation in the upcoming stage considering that it was agreed on in principle in previous rounds of talks.