The Delegation of the European Union to Sudan welcomed the calls for dialogue and release of political prisoners made by President Omar Al Bashir on Monday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the seventh session of the National Assembly, Bashir announced his government would engage with all political bodies and civil society groups without exception, including with groups that have taken up arms against his regime.
The president also ordered the release of all political prisoners in detention centers across Sudan. He claimed that all rights and freedoms in self-expression will be upheld in the country for both individuals and groups and this is demonstrated by the release of the political prisoners.
In a statement, the EU delegation said it “has observed, as a first step, the release of an initial group of detainees and encourages the government of Sudan to release all the political prisoners as announced, paving the way for the national dialogue”.
The delegation confirmed its “conviction that a national reconciliation process will strengthen Sudan's democratic credentials and its prospects for a sustainable development.”
For their part, opposition political forces in Sudan have expressed general skepticism concerning the president’s calls for dialogue based on their past experiences.
Related: Sudan opposition skeptic about Bashir's calls for dialogue, prisoners release (3 April 2013)