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Britain urges political reforms in Sudan

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Sudanese and British FM shake hands in London on 12 Dece 2017 (ST Photo)
December 12, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour on Tuesday has met with the United Kindom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London.

Ghandour has arrived in London on Monday on a two-day visit to inaugurate the Sudanese-British investment forum and meet with a number of UK officials.

“The meeting discussed the developing bilateral relations between the two countries and the continued cooperation in all fields under the umbrella of the strategic dialogue between Sudan and Britain, which has been begun since 2016,” said Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir in a press release on Tuesday

He added the meeting also discussed the economic situation in Sudan following the lifting of the U.S. economic sanctions.

“The Foreign Minister briefed his UK counterpart on the general situation in Sudan after the National Dialogue which continued for two years,” he said

Ghandour also briefed Johnson on Sudan’s role in supporting the regional stability particularly in Somalia, South Sudan and the Central African Republic as well as the ramifications of the Gulf crisis and the war in Yemen.

According to the press release, the meeting also discussed Sudan’s efforts to combat illegal migration and human trafficking.

On the other hand, in a Twitter message on Tuesday Johnson said he held “constructive meeting with Sudanese Foreign Sec Ibrahim Ghandour today, raised ongoing UK concerns over human rights and political & economic reforms which Sudan so desperately needs”.

In March 2016, Sudan and the UK held the first strategic consultations meetings between the two countries in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. The meeting was considered the first talks of its kind at the ministerial level in 25 years.

The two countries agreed to exchange visits at the level of senior officials from the two countries along with increasing cooperation in the fields of economy, investment and culture.

SUDANESE-BRITISH ECONOMIC FORUM

Meanwhile, Ghandour has addressed the opening session of the Sudanese-British investment forum on Tuesday morning in London.

He expressed hope the forum could help present the UK companies with the investment and trade opportunities in Sudan following the lifting of the U.S. sanctions.

The meeting was also addressed by the UK Ambassador to Khartoum Michael Aron, senior trade advisor for Africa at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department of International Trade Tim Morris and the deputy director of the U.S. States Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, Office of Sanctions Policy and implementation, Tarek Fahmy.

It is noteworthy that a group of British MPs signed a letter to Johnson ahead of the forum warning the government against pursuing investment in a country rife with corruption and where the president is wanted for human rights violations.

(ST)

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