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Western diplomats discuss Sudan political developments with dialogue forces

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May 4, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Western diplomats in Khartoum held separate meetings with the Sudanese opposition forces participating in the national dialogue process on Thursday to discuss issues of peace and their participation in the upcoming National Consensus Government (NCG).

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The opening session of the first roundtable on Sudan’s national dialogue in Khartoum on 6 April 2014 (SUNA)

The Popular Congress Party (PCP)’s Secretary General, Ali al-Haj has received at his home in Khartoum, the German and British ambassadors, Canadian Chargé d’affaires in Khartoum, and the Political and Economic Adviser at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, David Scott.

Also, the leader of the Reform Now Movement (RNM) Ghazi Salah al-Din al-Attabani met with the British ambassador and the U.S. political and economic adviser.

The PCP and the RNM both are Islamic groups that participated in the national dialogue process when it was launched by President Omer al-Bashir. But the RNM of al-Attabani suspended its participation in the process in June 2014 while the popular party kept his support to the process.

However, Attabani who is also the leader of the opposition coalition Future Forces For Changes (FFC) recently signed the National Document and rejoined the dialogue process.

According to a press release from the Office of the PCP Secretary-General extended to Sudan Tribune Thursday, the meetings dealt with the outcome of the national dialogue, and constitutional reforms.

Also, the meetings discussed political freedoms, participation in the new government, issues of war and peace, with all Sudanese political forces without exception, in addition to the relations of the neighbouring countries, especially the South Sudan’s crisis and the possibility of Sudan’s contribution to its stability.

In his meeting with the American diplomat, al-Haj further discussed the relations between the two countries and ways to develop it.

Al-Haj who was a close supporter of Hassan al-Turabi was in exile in Germany for more than twenty years after the rift of 1999 within the National Congress Party and the creation of the Popular Congress Party.

For his part, the RNM said al-Attabani discussed and agreed with his interlocutors on the need to stop the war and provide humanitarian assistance to the affected civilians adding that " It was agreed that this issue should receive special priority".

The meetings also dealt with the national dialogue as the preferred way to overcome the problems, challenges that surround the Sudan, pointing to "the possibility of converting them to successes" with the consolidation of the roots of governance and the full implementation of what is agreed in the national dialogue process.

According to the statement extended to Sudan Tribune, al-Attabani said that "the sanctions imposed on Sudan should be lifted in July because they "hurt ordinary people rather than the rulers".

The FFC sought to work the Sudan Call forces, but the internal divisions within the alliance and the refusal of the opposition groups which considers that Islamist leaders like al-Attabani bear the responsibility of the current disaster in Sudan.

The former presidential adviser said his group, RNM, would launch some initiatives within the national dialogue framework including the "constitutional opposition" pointing that the political arena needs some innovations.

(ST)

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