March 13, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A delegation including 19 officials from the European Union (EU) has arrived in Khartoum in an effort to push forward the Sudanese/European dialogue in the various domains.
- EU’s ambassador to Sudan Jean-Michel Dumond (EU Photo)
During his visit to Khartoum last January, EU envoy to Khartoum Jean-Michel Dumond announced that arrangements are underway to carry out a number of visits by senior EU officials to Sudan.
Reliable sources told Sudan Tribune that the European officials are the political advisors for African Department at the EU and they represent most of the Member States.
According to the sources, the delegation on Monday has held meetings with a number of sectors including Sudanese businessmen, civil society organisation, women leaders besides rights groups and political parties.
In a short press release extended to Sudan Tribune, Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir said the delegation would engage in meetings with the Sudanese officials starting on Tuesday.
He said the consultations meetings come within the framework of the strategic dialogue between Sudan and the EU which covers cooperation on a set of bilateral and regional issues of common concern.
According to Sudan Tribune sources, the consultation meetings will focus on several issues including the situation in South Sudan, delivery of humanitarian aid to war areas as well as the political, development and human rights files.
Meanwhile, the EU Special Envoy for Religious Freedom Jan Figel will arrive in Khartoum on Wednesday.
Sudan has been under EU sanctions since the 1989 coup d’état and didn’t receive any development aid from Europe.
However, the European body reconsidered its position following the waves of illegal migrants from Syria, Iraq, and Horn of Africa countries. Sudan is identified as a source of migrants to Europe and a transit country for migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.
In April 2016, the EU officially allocated Sudan €100 million to improve the living conditions for refugees, help Sudanese returnees to reintegrate back into society, and to improve security at the border.
In addition to this support, Sudan benefits from additional funding under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, in particular from a €40 million programme to better manage migration in the region.