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FM Ghandour mitigates freezing talks with USA

July 14 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Ghandour (file photo)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Ghandour (file photo)

Foreign Minister said Sudan had no intention 'to escalate tensions with the USA' in response to a decision by President Donald Trump to extend the economic sanctions for three more months. The stream of reactions has continued. .

In disagreement with the decision, Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir froze the work of its negotiation committee with the USA administration until 12 October on Wednesday.

Sudanese foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour held a press conference yesterday, saying that Sudan had no intention to escalate tensions with the USA. “Sudan will continue to cooperate on the level of bilateral relations,” Ghandour said.

But the extension of the sanctions sends a negative message to the rebel armed movements in Sudan, the minister added, and leads to their “intransigence and insistence on the continuation of the war”.

The human rights record has not been among the five tracks which the US reviewed Sudan’s progress on. The Government of Sudan has fulfilled all the demands to lift the sanctions and has no more to offer, the minister said.

Oppisition parties described President Al Bashir's decision to freeze negotiations with the United States as a futile decision. Khalid Omar, the deputy-president of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) to Radio Dabanga: ‘The decision to freeze negotiations is the kind of decision that the regime has repeatedly used to issue and quickly retreat.”

The rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) welcomed the US decision to postpone the decision on sanctions against Sudan for three months. “It is a good opportunity for the parties in the armed conflicts to conclude a comprehensive agreement to stop hostilities, open the tracks for humanitarian relief, and engage in serious negotiations to reach a just and comprehensive peace.”

JEM spokesman Jibril Adam Bilal told Dabanga Radio that lifting the sanctions under the current circumstances in Sudan would have provided “additional resources to finance the war, recruit tribal militias, encourage the confiscation of fundamental freedoms and violate human rights”.

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