March 7, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government on Wednesday made the first suggestion of its kind that the economic conference scheduled for this month in Istanbul, Turkey may be rescheduled.
The conference, organised by Norway, the European Union (EU) and Turkey is meant to discuss Sudan’s economy after the oil-rich South became an independent country last July.
As a result of the country’s partition, Sudan has lost its single largest source of revenue and hard currency.
In recent weeks Sudanese officials have stepped up their rhetoric against the US administration accusing the latter of working to sabotage the conference and pressing other countries not to participate.
Khartoum said it rejected Washington’s demands that the humanitarian situation in Sudan’s restive states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile be included in the agenda.
The Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson Al-Obeid Marawih said that the conference organisers will on Thursday make a decision on whether to hold it as planned. He added that contacts have been established to evaluate level of attendance by states and chances of the conference’s success.
"No party has a desire to thwart the conference, but there is a debate and divergence of views on the preliminary evaluation of the outcome of communications and arrangements made," he said.
There has been reports in Khartoum that the host country Turkey has proposed a delay. This would be the second postponement of the conference since last year.