August 24, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese presidential assistant Ibrahim Ghandour held a three-hour meeting on Saturday with the deputy secretary-general of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) figure Ali al-Haj Mohammed in the German city of Bonn in which they discussed the ongoing national dialogue process.
- Ali al-Haj, deputy secretary general of the Popular Congress Party (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat)
Mohamed, who has resided in Germany for more than a decade, said in a statement that their talks were marked by a brotherly spirit adding that their views matched on supporting dialogue that is inclusive of all forces even rebel groups that are fighting government troops in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
He went on to say that Ghandour briefed him on steps taken to overcome obstacles facing the dialogue and build trust among all parties, prepare the atmosphere and accommodate all views no matter how disparate they are.
They also discussed the search for a just and comprehensive peace that puts an end to the infighting and stops the blood drain in order to open the door to addressing the grievances and providing the opportunity for balanced development, the statement said.
The PCP official exchanged views on the experiences of previous peace agreements and the big efforts that have been made on them and the obstacles they encountered.
Mohamed held the post of the Minister of Federal Affairs when he was part of the government. He is better known for handling negotiations with the Southern rebels in the early 90’s.
“I am confident that brother Professor Ghandour will convey the results of our discussions to official institutions inside [Sudan] so that it is deliberated on and dealt with them transparently, and I hope that it contains what would enrich the process of dialogue and search for peace and contribute towards bolstering the comprehensive national solution”.
The PCP which was a leading opposition party appeared to be moving towards rapprochement with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and away from other opposition parties.
Officials in the PCP blamed their move on their opposition allies for their support to the overthrowing of the elected Islamist Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi last year, saying they are against any Islamic government even if it is elected by the people.
The PCP sticks to the national dialogue initiative launched by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir last January and is seeking to promote and mobilise support for the process. It did not openly object to any restrictive measures taken by the government such as detentions and confiscation and suspension of newspapers.
The National Umma Party (NUP) led by al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and the Reform Now Movement (RNM) led by Ghazi Salah Al-Din suspended their participation in the national dialogue before the latter rejoined the process.
The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) and the rebel alliance of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) refused to join the dialogue from the outset.
PCP leader Hassan al-Turabi diverged since 1999 with Bashir on the attributions of regional governments and the inclusion of traditional parties in a large government supporting the establishment of the Islamic state in Sudan.