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National dialogue parties due to finalise framework agreement on Tuesday

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July 21, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The national dialogue mechanism representing the government and opposition parties discussed the positions of the two sides on a framework work agreement and agreed to finalise it on Tuesday.

Presidential assistant and deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), Ibrahim Gandour, after the meeting told reporter that the participants agreed to combine the two positions papers and to meet again on Tuesday to discuss the remaining issues.

"We have made great strides in the way of dialogue. We discussed the principles and objectives of the dialogue, ways to create a conducive environment, issues to be debated in the process, the participants, time and duration of the dialogue, its venue and everything related to the structures of dialogue, including observers and facilitators and others,” Ghandour said.

The presidential assistant further said there is a “broad consensus” among the participants, adding that this spirit may facilitate the conclusion of a draft framework agreement on Tuesday before a meeting chaired by president Omer al-Bashir the mechanism should hold on Thursday.

The National Umma Party (NUP) did not participate in the meeting which ended in the early hours of Monday. The opposition party suspended its participation in the political process after the detention of its leader Sadiq al-Mahdi in May.

The DUP poses a number of conditions including the need to consult the other opposition forces that refuse the current process and to include the rebel groups. It also demands a neutral chairmanship instead of president Omer al-Bashir.

Commenting on the absence of the NUP from the meeting, Ghandour said “we wished to see the Umma Party with us as it remains one of the dialogue preachers”.

Regarding the position of the opposition party he said that there was no room for conditions in the meeting, asserting that the participants discussed everything.

Different reports published in Khartoum say the Popular Congress Party of Hassan al-Turabi continues its efforts to bring the NUP back to the national dialogue mechanism.

(ST)

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