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Sudan’s FM ends Europe tour without visiting London

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French FM Jean Yves Le Drian welcomes Sudan's FM Dirdeiry Ahmed in Paris on 20 Nov 2018 (Photo MEAF)
November 2018, (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Foreign Minister El-Dirdeiry Ahmed on Monday has abruptly ended a week-long European tour without visiting the United Kingdom.

El-Dirdeiry last Tuesday started a trip to Europe that was supposed to take him to France, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

He held talks in Paris, Berlin and Brussels on ways to enhance bilateral relations and discussed with his counterparts the latest regional developments as well as Sudan’s efforts to achieve peace in South Sudan, Libya and the Central African Republic.

However, the Sudanese top diplomat abruptly cancelled his visit to London where he was scheduled to meet his British counterpart and give a speech on the priorities of Sudan’s foreign policy at Chatham House.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Babiker al-Siddiq told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the visit hasn’t been cancelled but it was decided to be re-scheduled.

He added the visit was delayed because the UK officials particularly foreign minister have been busy working on the Brexit negotiations, stressing the visit would take place at a later date.

Since 2015, Sudan and the UK have started a dialogue upon request from Khartoum to push forward bilateral ties.

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.

The UK Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Chris Trott last year visited Khartoum several times to discuss ways to develop bilateral relations and encourage Khartoum efforts to reduce the illegal immigration from the Horn of African countries towards Europe and Britain especially.

The dialogue also was seen within the framework of the after-Brexit policy aiming to develop trade relations with the former British colonies.

(ST)

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