January 21, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese government welcomed the speech made by US president Barack Obama in his inaugural ceremony yesterday and described it as “positive”.
- U.S. President Barack Obama attends the National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral in Washington on his first official day as president, January 21, 2009 (Reuters)
The Sudanese foreign ministry issued a statement noting that elements of Obama’s speech promising relations with the Muslim world based on mutual interest and mutual respect are encouraging.
The statement congratulated Obama for gaining the confidence of the American people and his eagerness to change the positions of the previous administration.
The foreign ministry further called on Obama to base his Sudan policy on direct engagement with the events on the ground rather than adopting “negative and hostile views”.
Khartoum generally considers the US Democratic Party more hostile to them than the Republican Party.
It was the former democratic president Bill Clinton who imposed comprehensive sanctions on Sudan and placed it on a list of states that sponsor terrorism. Furthermore in 1998 Clinton ordered air strikes against a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan.
The newly appointed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called ending “human devastation in Darfur” a foreign policy objective of the Obama administration.
The US Vice president Joe Biden has been a proponent of using military force in Darfur.
The Darfur crisis has been the focus of both parties in the US which labeled the conflict as genocide in 2004.