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Sudan asks UK to press rebels on peace talks

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April 28, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti received a telephone call on Monday from the UK foreign office’s minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, in which the latter expressed his government’s full support to president Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s national dialogue initiative, state media reported.

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United Kingdom Foreign Office Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds

Simmonds also stated the UK’s willingness to provide any possible support to make it a success.

Last January, Bashir called upon political parties and armed groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss four issues including ending the civil war, allowing political freedoms, fighting against poverty, and revitalizing national identity.

Earlier this month, he held a political roundtable in Khartoum with the participation of 83 political parties.

The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) boycotted the political roundtable, saying the government did not respond to its conditions for creating an environment conducive for dialogue.

Last week the rebel umbrella of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) proposed a roadmap to achieve a comprehensive solution to end war in the southern and western parts of the country and ensure democratic transition in Sudan.

Rebel sources told Sudan Tribune that they handed over the peace plan to several western countries, including the US, UK and France.

Karti on his end briefed the British official about the recent developments in Darfur and the government’s commitment to a peaceful solution to the crisis within the framework of the Doha Document for Peace (DDPD).

The Sudanese minister also explained the progress made in implementing the DDPD and the efforts to persuade non-signatories to join the peace process. He called on the British government to pressure on these movements to come on board.

The two sides also discussed the talks underway now in Addis Ababa between the government and the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) on issues relating to South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states.

Karti stressed that the government entered into negotiations with a firm resolve to achieve peace, particularly in light of the positive atmosphere created by Bashir’s national dialogue initiative.

The British official has also welcomed the negotiations, expressing hope that they result in a peace agreement.

(ST)

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