September 13, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The newly-appointed US special envoy Donald Booth makes his first trip to Khartoum and Juba "this week" where he will discuss with officials from both sides a wide range of issues related to relations between the two neighbours and internal political developments.
- President Barack Obama meets with Ambassador Donald Booth, Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, in the Oval Office, Aug. 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
During his visit, Ambassador Booth will express the United States’ deep concern at the lack of progress made by Sudan and South Sudan in fully implementing the September 2012 accords, said a statement released by the American embassy in Khartoum on Friday.
Booth further will discuss "respect for human rights, the critical need for humanitarian access to conflict areas, and above all the importance of working for inclusive and representative governance", it further stressed.
The statement did not give the day which he will arrive to Khartoum but only said "this week".
Press reports published in Khartoum last Tuesday said Booth would arrive on Friday, but the embassy at the time declined to confirm these reports when Sudan Tribune contacted them.
However, the publication of the statement indicates that his arrival is imminent.
Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti who is expected to meet with Booth, before traveling to New York to attend the UN General Assembly meetings. He recently welcomed the appointment of the new envoy and pledged that his government would cooperate with him and facilitate his mission.
He further pointed out that US secretary of state John Kerry told him that he and Booth would work to improve bilateral relations besides the file of Sudan and South Sudan issues.
"During his visit, Ambassador Booth will underscore the United States’ commitment to the goal of two viable states at peace internally, with one another, and with their neighbours", the embassy said.
Khartoum demands that economic sanctions imposed since October 1997 are lifetd and that Sudan is removed from the list of states who sponsors of terrorism.
The outbreak of a conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in 2011 pushed the American administration to not honour previous pledges since the signing of the 2005 peace agreement to remove Sudan from the terror sponsors list.
Lifting the economic sanctions requires the approval of the US Congress, a step that Washington said implies the end of internal conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas and the improvement of freedoms and human rights situation in the country.