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Sudan calls on France to press armed groups to join peace

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 French Ambassador to Khartoum Emmanuelle Blatman speaks to the press after a meeting with the FVP Bakri Hassan Saleh (ST Photo)
March 6, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese state minister for foreign affairs Hamid Mumtaz Tuesday called on the French government to persuade the armed groups to lay down weapons and join the peace process.

Mumtaz made his call in a meeting with the French Ambassador to Khartoum Emmanuelle Blatmann at the foreign ministry in Khartoum.

"The Minister of State briefed the French Ambassador about the political and economic developments in Sudan and its role in supporting regional stability," said the foreign ministry spokesperson in a statement released after the meeting.

"He stressed the government’s commitment to peace in Sudan through negotiations in the Two Areas and Darfur, calling on France to use its international influence to urge the armed groups to engage in peace negotiations," further said the statement.

Sudanese opposition groups will hold a three-day meeting in Paris from 13 to 16 March in the French capital to discuss a joint position on the African Union-mediated political process as the mediators plan to reshape a roadmap agreement signed by the parties in 2016.

In the past, Sudanese officials criticized France for hosting Darfur rebel leaders but Paris reassured Khartoum that it does not provide them with any support but exhorts them to reach a negotiated agreement.

For her part, the French ambassador stressed her country’s keenness to develop relations and support the peace process in Sudan, according to the statement.

In addition, Blatmann "expressed her country’s thanks to Sudan for promoting regional stability and cooperation to combat terrorism and illegal immigration" said the spokesperson.

On Monday, the French ambassador was received by the First Vice-President Bakri Hassan at the Sudanese presidency.

The meeting discussed France support for the National Dialogue process and the government efforts to achieve peace in Sudan.

Mumtaz, who attended the meeting, said Blatmann stressed her country’s efforts to lift Sudan’s name from the United States list of states sponsors of terrorism.

(ST)

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