(SUNA): The president of the Republic, Omar Bashir, on Monday delivered a comprehensive statement on Sudan's domestic and foreign policies, local and international

affairs as well as political, economic and cultural developments in the country. Hereunder the Sudan news agency publishes an unofficial translation of the statement delivered by the president before the National Legislature's opening session: -

Praise be to Allah, the One and the Almighty, and Peace and Blessing be upon His Messenger, the Master of all beings, and the last of messengers and prophets, our Master, Muhammad and Peace and Blessing upon His Kins and Companions, indefinitely
Dear Brother Speaker of the National Legislature
Dear Brothers and Sisters, the MPs

August guests
Peace, Mercy and Blessing of Allah be Upon you
We are delivering this statement today at the outset of the opening sitting of the Fourth Parliamentary Session which coincide with the advent of this sacred Month of Muharam. Let us pray to Allah the almighty to make the advent of this month a blessing to the Sudanese Nation, save the bloods and that security prevails all over our homeland, so that our energies and resources would all be veered to a comprehensive economic and social development,

We thank Allah so much for the security and peace blessing in which our country lives, while gathering its national resolve in the National Dialogue, an unprecedented even since our independence. The National Dialogue is a national project in which the brightest forms of nationalism are reflected by the political forces and civil society organizations, that during sessions that continued for well over a year, in deliberations characterized by frankness, transparency and objectives and in which the concerned committee reviewed dozens of working papers, handling tens of subjects and issues and then finally came out with important recommendations.

These recommendations set the general frame for the future of the Sudan with regards to the system of government, the distribution and management of resources and power sharing, and the erection of the state of rule of law. We are looking forwards to erecting a Shura and democratic modern state in which prevail security, peace and stability, a state in which all the resources and energies would be directed to effect a huge political, economic and social development. We on our side have adopted measures and made preparations that create the conducive climate and boost confidence amongst the parties involved in the dialogue.

Keen to see the participation of all the sons of the homeland, we are reaffirming once again that the doors for Dialogue shall remain open for all those who seek to work with us for achieving security and stability in the Sudan. We welcome their joining the National Document and their participation in the Dialogue over the constitution, the State reform and Political life so that we set the foundation for the Sudanese State, based on the accord of all Sudanese people in their Political and Societal Dialogue.

You have followed the seriousness of the government in implementing the reform programme which is the third pathway of the Leap Project. That seriousness is reflected in the decisions, directives and legislations approved by your august legislature. Seriousness represented in the performance reports presented by the Minister during the previous sessions of this parliament. It was clearly seen that the reform process has effected a noticeable change in the method of running the state and in developing the performance of its institutions: a number of ministries have scored considerable transformation towards the electronic government thus facilitating performance and services rendered for people and for the first time ever 24 ministries have been subjected to the quality and excellence programme.

On the economic side, the government has put in place the five-year economic reform programme (2015-2019) with the aim of increasing production for exports and battering the standards of living. These are based on a number of objectives with the aim of achieving sustainable and comprehensive economic growth at an annual rate of 7%, imposing the mandate of the Ministry of Finance on the public money, maximizing the national income and directing the resources to development in the industrial, mining and petroleum sectors, thus restoring trade balance and achieving higher levels of animal and agriculture production.

In the field of federal government, the government has completed preparations for holding of the national conference for the assessment and evaluation of the federal government experience, through holding of dozens of workshops in the state and at the level of ministries that discussed a number of scientific papers. They reached recommendations which will be reviewed during the National Dialogue Conference, Allah willing.

As to the foreign Policy, this is based on the principles of maintaining the supremacy and the security of the homeland, achieving peace, attracting foreign capital for investment in the development areas, particularly in the war affected region, combating terrorism and cross border crime. We work through these principles to achieve our higher national interests. All have been witnessed during the past few moth as to the huge overture in the Sudanese Arab relations and particularly the Sudanese gulf states relations, a matter that contributed to our signing of the framework agreement in the field of food security, Sudan has also participated in the decisive storm forces, backing the legitimacy in Yemen, within the alliance of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is on those same principles that we coordinate and cooperate with our brothers and sisters in our African continent.

Numerous committees for political consultations have convened with a number of European countries, contributing in removing a number of hurdles that stood on the way of normalization between these countries and the Sudan. The negotiations continue with the American administration and we hope that these will culminate with success and with restoration of relations to normalcy.

The level of bilateral cooperation with sister China has been raised to a level of strategic partnership, and the framework agreement for production energy has been signed in addition to a number of other agreements in the agricultural, industrial, transport and education fields were signed.

Honorable brothers and sisters
Let me seize this opportunity to salute the Armed forces and the other regular forces in the different areas and position for their success in defeating the rebels and in protecting the soil of the homeland. The issues of boosting the national security and protecting the resources of the homeland have taken the priority in the third 25-year strategic plan that aimed to boost the defense mechanism of the homeland and to build and modernize 5he armed forces and other forces in the country, while at the same time drying up all sources of firearms outside the legal framework, and handling the questions of the border demarcation and securing these borderlines.

The last period has also seen the completion and full implementation of the Doha document for Peace in Darfur. We celebrated that achievement in Al Fashir with the participation of His Highness Sheikh Tameem Bin Hamad the Emir of Qatar, and his excellency, President Idris Debby the President of sister Chad and His excellency Professor Faustin Twadirah president of friendly Central African Republic. We appreciate their contribution in the peace in Darfur.

And within the efforts of the state and its endeavors to complete the Civil Record, the number of those who are currently registered stand at 25 million 800 thousand people, which is 84.8% of the Sudan population. We would like to reaffirm that all service provided by the state at all level of government will be through via the national number as of the beginning of next year.

Despite the fact that the Sudanese economy has been impacted by the changes that occurred on the situation of the economic and social situation regionally and globally and the disturbances in the neighbouring countries, still the first half of the year saw stability in the financial performance of the country, with the income increasing by 6% compared to the same period last year, thanks to the efforts of the electronic collection and sieging tax evasion.

During the same period inflation rate dropped from 21.6% to 13%, and wheat production increased to reach 779 thousand tones, an increase of 36%.

The overall export in livestock during the first half of the fiscal year to 3,3 million heads which is 51.6% of the targeted for the whole year, bringing home 810 million dollars.

At the level of irrigation, the achievement in the main work for the Sirah project in Atbar and Sitit dams, have reached 98% for electricity generation and for increasing the irrigated cultivated area. Work continue in the projects of water harvest in the eastern and western areas of the country, until the slogan of full eradication of thirty is achieved.

The number of beneficiary from electricity services has increased to 2.357 million people after all unity of Kosti (500 megawatts), Shahiid station (150 megawatt) entered into service e and after expanding the capacity of the Dhayein, Zalingue, Kadugli, Nyala, Fashir, Fula and El Nuhoud stations.

In the transportation sector an agreement was signed to import two planes via hiring system and two airbus planes were maintained. The transport sector is witnessing huge leaps during these months. We expect by the end of the third 25-year strategic plan to expand the transportation capacity of the railway to 8 million tons and 3 million passengers. Work is underway to provide the Sudan airway with about 14 planes that would enable it restore its role in air trafficking. We also work to make the Sudanese sea port attractive to visiting ship so that all countries overlooking the red sea would benefit from those sea ports. We will add at least nine ships serving different purposes.

The government is also working to develop production and use of natural gas, were we have a reserve of 51.6 trillion cubic feet, in addition to a possible reserve of 2.5 trillion square feet in Square 8. Work is underway to transform this gas into liquid products.

Sudan has achieved during the past pied a production of 600 thousand tons of sugar which constitute about 50%of the overall consumption of the country while we have reached self-sufficiency in paints, cements and ceramic and steel and other food industries. Sudan will witness by the end of the year 2020, a localization of engineering industries and will achieve full sufficiency in agricultural tools and electricity appliances. It will also achieve the development goals for the most important industrial commodities that have direct impact on the national economic, top of which sugar, wheat flour, oils, drugs, cement, weavings. We also look forwards to this sector contributing 25% in the national income.

The state has paid attention to education and improvement of the education environment, improving the skill and better the work conditions for the teachers. Thanks to the expansion in the establishment of school, the intake the basic education has increased to 79.2% of the overall children in the schooling age, and those in the secondary level to 35.4% while the plans for intake in the higher educational institutions for this year is set for 359 thousand. A considerable effort has been made in the use of computers in the higher education. We look forward by the end of the third strategic plan to complete the erection of a flexible and accommodating educational system that would provide education chance for all the Sudanese people in a way that each child and each youth would find a seat for education in our education institution, while at the same time lowering illiteracy to less than ten percent and to maximize the quality of the outcome of the educational process.

At the level of higher education we look forwards to increase the intake in the age group 17-20 to 20 percent by expanding vertically and horizontally in our institution and completing the building and preparing the university laboratories for the national and state universities, beside developing and promoting the capacity of the teaching staff, through establishment of national centers for development of the performance of the staff and transforming the Sudan from a face for sciences and research to a hub for Sudanese research and electronic education.

And to lessen the burden on the people, the government is committed to providing free of charge medical treatment for children under five and in all emergency and accident departments and in the cancerous diseases. The policy of localizing medical treatment and the encouragement of pharmaceutical industries continue while at the same time providing the primary health care by rehabilitation of the hospitals and the medical establishments.

On the social level, the government has put in place legislations of social nature, approving the pension and social insurance laws, the national law for persons with disabilities, the law for the national fund for social insurance. It also increased the insurance coverage for the health insurance from 37.8% to 41,6% so that the number of beneficiaries has increased to 15 million people, while the direct subsidies umbrella covered some 550 thousand families.

Due attention was provided for the Zakat, and though a long history of practice the government was able to set a standard practice that has become a model for a number of Muslim countries. And despite the fact that zakat is a worshiping, still the state attention focus on the basic philosophy that makes of man who is honored by the creator to be the focus of attention as man is the target and pillar of development. The Zakat chamber was able, thanks to its successful experience, to achieve a collection in the nine past month of about 1.8 billion Sudanese pound and is expected to increase this to 2.5 billion by the end of the fiscal year. Thus the Zakat chamber has become one of the basic state mechanism and institutions that work in domain of alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment. The chamber was able to provide its service to over one and half million families each year, through a programme of health insurance to poor families and 83 thousand students and 55 thousand monthly pension for orphans. Thus the camber has been able to contribute in getting 3,000 families out of the circle of poverty each year, and enter them in the production cycle. The umbrella of the zakat chamber has expanded to cover such service project for the poor groups in the health, water and education areas as well as the shelter projects for the impoverished families at a cost of 250 million pounds. The overall contribution of the chamber in medical treatment, federally, 50 million pounds in the year 2016.

Culture being the tools for progress, social, economic and political development, has been used by the government to achieve peace and social cohesion, cement and instill the values of good, virtue and justice. It boosted this by coordinating the preaching work in a way to unify the official speech and depend the positive religious and national values.
Youth are the hope and future of every nation and its future asset. The youth projects and programmes have received a particular attention from the government, and this time Damar town was selected to be the capital for the Sudanese youth projects. The government has completed its attention for youth by the qualification of their youth to the final of the African youth completion. It also started work on the project of the Sudan sports city.

And we work through the third strategic plan to build and develop youth capacity and skills in the political, social, cultural and intellectual and sports domain to achieve development and to help halt conflicts and disputes and strengthening the national affiliation among the youth, combating fundamentalism and extremism, while at the same time investing youth energies in facing public health threat and harmful practices as well as caring for the talented and young and taking care of them at the various physical and technical formation stages.

As to the national service, the government has embarked on developing and revising labor and work laws. He council of minister has approved the national programme for capacity building which is set to help train the worker in the various state departments. The development of the human resources has been a priority for the government, an economic investment and one of the local components, so that the Sudanese human cadres would gain the merits that are preferred in the Arab, regional and international work markets.

The last few months have witnessed important development for transferring our country into the digital world, as the government has approved the national policy for telecommunication and for information technology and has set the national authority for electronic ratification, and the service of the fourth generation was launched, while 203 government locations have been connected to fiber technology, and the payment via mobile has been launched a matter the prepared our country to take off towards the stage of the electronic government and to provision of service for the people via the networks and via electronic systems.

And we work through the third strategic plan to double the spreading of information technology, telecommunication, electronic applications all over the country, as well as the computerization of all procedures and formalities and localization of programming industries, and smart applications while at the same time creating an integrated market for postal distribution in the electronic government technologies and enacting of the electronic trade.

The assessment of the second plan (2012-2016) is currently underway and plans are in place for preparing the third plan (2017-2020), taking into account the present with all its challenges and the future with all its aspirations, to achieve the hope and aspiration of our nation for establishing a great nation that is up to par with our huge material and human resources. The objectives of the third plan comprise the establishment of the state law, a law based on a permanent constitution that reflect the hope and aspiration of all the Sudanese people, achieve the establishment of a stable country with good political practices, based on Shura and democracy, so the peaceful exchange of power would be through elections.

We look forward through this Third Plan to establish the state of law in which all citizens will have equal rights and duties by ratification of legislations that are coping with the local and international developments and the respect of human rights and expanding the prosecutions country-wide to expand the umbrella of justice.

All that will be supported by a free, responsible, efficient and innovative media that is capable of interacting with the challenges, besides a strong information message that focuses on the continuity of implementing projects, affirms the role of the media as effective weapon in defending the homeland and its gains, values, interests and national security and confronting the aggression and reflecting the bright image of our country internally and externally.