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Sudan’s parties agree on roadmap for national dialogue: presidential aide

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July 25, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese presidential assistant, Ibrahim Ghandour, said that the ruling National Congress Party and opposition parties participating in the national dialogue endorsed a roadmap and a timeframe to conduct the process.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has called on political parties to participate in national dialogue aimed at stimulating a reform plan announced earlier this year (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Speaking in the early hours of Friday, Ghandour said the meeting agreed to launch the national dialogue process after Eid el-Fitr, a four-day holiday marking the end of Ramadan to start on 30 July.

The timeframe of the political process is between one to three months, he further said.

According to the presidential aide, the meeting endorsed also the attributions of the supreme coordination committee known as (7+7 committee), the General Conference, the sub-committees, the agenda of the dialogue and how to implement the outcome of the national dialogue.

Thursday meeting was chaired by president Omer al-Bashir with the participation of the Popular Congress (PCP) Party secretary-general Hassan al-Turabi and chairman of the Reform Now Movement (RNM), Ghazi Salah Edeen Attabani.

The National Umma Party (NUP) suspended its participation in the dialogue following the arrest of its leader Sadiq al-Mahdi last May. After his release in June, the opposition party called to review the process and posed some conditions to rejoin it.

Ghandour, said in statements on Wednesday that the 7+7 committee agreed to more than 90% of the roadmap, pointing that this framework agreement would be completed no later than Eid al-Fitr holiday.

But opposition sources said a disagreement persists on issues like the formation of a national unity government , respect of political freedoms and to review the electoral law.

On Friday morning, Ghandour nonetheless played down these fears, saying that the divergences on the draft framework agreement are minors.

“We agreed to discuss in the (general) conference the mechanism which will implement the outcome of the dialogue,” he said alluding to the demands for a national unity government and delay of general election scheduled for April 2014.

The presidential aide further called on all the political parties and rebel groups to participate in the dialogue.

The official news agency SUNA reported that it was agreed that observers from the African Union and Arab League will be invited to attend the dialogue.

The RNM deputy leader Mohamed Bashir Suleiman said they are seeking to convince the NUP to resume its participation in the process based on a bilateral political agreement providing to coordinate their efforts in the national dialogue.

(ST)

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