PM Hamdok in Brussels, praises EU support for Sudan
Sudan's Prime Minister Dr Abdallah Hamdok travelled to Brussels on Sunday, accompanied by two of his Ministers and other officials. He met with several EU Commissioners and discussed his government’s plans with representatives of the Sudanese community in Belgium. Today, he briefed EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the political developments in Sudan, the ongoing efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace, normalisation of relations with the international community, and the government’s efforts to address economic issues.
The Prime Minister is accompanied by Madani Abbas, Minister of Industry and Trade, Lina El Sheikh, Minister of Labour and Social Development, Mekki Mirghani, Planning Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and Ali Bakheet, Director of the Prime Minister's Office.
Upon their arrival, they were received by the chargé d'affaires of the Sudanese Embassy in Brussels and a number of EU officials.
During his meeting with Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Hamdok praised the EU's supportive stance towards Sudan.
The Prime Minister affirmed the commitment of his government to implement the goals of the December Revolution. They are reflected in the programme of the three-year transitional period. Reaching a comprehensive and just peace and improving the economic situation are the main priorities.
The EU Commissioner congratulated Hamdok with the formation of the Sudanese transitional government, and reiterated that the EU will support its programmes. She pointed out that cooperation with Sudan is a priority for the new European Commission for International Cooperation.
Hamdok told Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, that the Sudanese government is committed to facilitating the work of humanitarian aid organisations to help people in the war-affected areas in the country.
Lenarčič praised the flexibility shown by the Government for providing access to the areas affected by war and conflicts.
He reiterated the European Commission's endeavour to increase its allocations to Sudan and its commitment to meet the needs of Sudan in the short and medium term.
The Commissioner further expressed the commitment of the European Commission to support the donor conference to be held in Sudan in April 2020.
PM Hamdok also met with Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid. The Sudanese Minister of Industry and Trade and Minister of Labour and Social Development were present at the meeting as well.
Stylianides pointed to the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) support of Sudan’s government programmes and the efforts to realise political and economic reform.
He appreciated the government's efforts to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the needy, and said the Commission is ready to assist Sudan during the transitional period.
The EU Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, Jean-Christophe Belliard, also met with Hamdok in Brussels yesterday. He said that the EU will urge Sudan’s armed movements in Sudan to exert their utmost efforts to complete the peace process in the country.
Belliard explained to the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) that the EU will support Sudan on two tracks: The first track consists of social and economic development programmes, and the second one will address the country's foreign debts, in addition to talks with the United States to remove Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.
On October 30, Hamdok and Foreign Minister Asmaa Abdallah received a high-level EU delegation in Khartoum. The delegation, headed by Belliard, discussed cooperation with Sudan, and pledged a total of €466 million in support grants to assist with the transition on the country.
On Sunday evening, Hamdok met with representatives of the Sudanese community in Brussel.
He reviewed the key features of the transitional period programme aiming at the achievement of a comprehensive, just, and sustainable peace, and to end the suffering of refugees and displaced people surviving in camps.
As for the tackling of the economic crisis, Hamdok said that the crisis could be overcome, “if the economic system is managed wisely and knowledgeable”.
Health, education, and capacity building are also top priorities, in addition to youth and unemployment issues, he said. The government further intends to create a favourable climate for the return of young people from abroad to contribute to nation building.
The Prime Minister further pointed to the failure of the Sudanese so far to agree on the best way to govern the country, and called on the Sudanese community in Brussels to contribute to the upcoming Constitutional Conference, which will be devoted to the diversity management.
The Sudanese living in Belgium demanded from the Sudanese government that those accused of violating human rights, of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity should be brought to justice at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Activist Mohamed Hereika stressed the need for retribution for the victims of violence in Darfur, the protesters killed and injured during the September 2013 uprising, and those who lost their properties and belongings by the construction of dams in the country.
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