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U.S. Sullivan proposes to hold conference on religious freedoms in Sudan

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U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan addressing the staff of American embassy in Khartoum 16 Nov 2017 (Photo U.S. Embassy Khartoum)
November 17, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan Friday called to hold a roundtable conference on religious freedoms and coexistence to promote the dialogue between Muslim and Christian clerics in Sudan.

On the second day of his visit to Sudan, Sullivan made a rare visit to the Nileen Mosque in Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman and the University of the Holy Qur’an where he gave a lecture.

The American diplomat was accompanied by US Embassy Charge d’Affaires in Khartoum Steven Koutsis and a number of embassy staff. He toured the Nileen Mosque and met Muslim and Christian clerics in a hall attached to the mosque.

In his speech, the senior diplomat stressed the importance the U.S. places on Sudan’s progress on dialogue, diversity, religious freedom, and human rights as part of the normalization process of relations between the two countries.

Further, Sullivan expressed his country’s concern at the situation of religious freedoms in the country, especially pointing to the "destruction of churches and the arrest of priests."

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Sudan Scholars Organization headed by Issam Ahmed Al-Bashir, professors of the Holy Quran and Omdurman Islamic universities and clergy of various Christian churches.

Last July, Washington postponed the permanent revocation of economic sanctions on Sudan and requested Khartoum to do more on the religious freedoms, human rights. Also, it asked Sudan to sever its relationship with North Korea.

(ST)

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