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Sudan participates in security forum in Washington

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U.S. chief of staff Gen Mark A. Milley (C) with his Sudanese counterpart Kamal Abdel-Marouf (R) in Washington on 8 October 2018 - (Photo Sudanese Embassy)
December 11, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese delegation including representatives from the legislative, executive and security organs has participated in the 12th Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum in Washington last week.

On 6 December, U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger hosted over 300 Members of Parliament, Senators, Ambassadors, and other officials from 80 nations for the 12th Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) quoted the head of the parliamentary sub-committee on security and defence Al-Hadi Adam as saying the forum discussed a number of issues including cyber threats, terrorism, malicious foreign investment, and information sharing.

According to Adam, the Sudanese delegation included representatives from the Parliament, Central Bank of Sudan, National Information Center and the National Intelligence and Security Services.

He pointed out that the forum has praised the effective participation of the Sudanese delegation in the discussions.

First conceived in 2014 to help restore U.S.-European relations in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, the forum has grown into a premier global gathering where legislators discuss collaborative efforts to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, intercept terrorism financing, confront cyber threats, and discuss emerging threats, including malicious foreign investment.

In October 2017, the U.S. Administration permanently lifted 20-year-old economic sanctions against Sudan citing positive actions on humanitarian access and counter-terrorism.

The decision was in line with the "Five Track Engagement Plan", in which Khartoum agreed to a cessation of hostilities with the armed groups, opened unfettered humanitarian access in the conflict-affected areas, agreed to support efforts for peace in South Sudan and developed cooperation with the U.S. to counter terrorism in the region.

However, Washington didn’t remove Sudan’s name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. In addition, it keeps in place targeted sanctions against individuals with arrest warrants related to atrocities committed during the conflict in Darfur.

Last month, Sudanese foreign minister El-Dirdeiry Ahmed and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan started talks in Washington on the normalization of bilateral relations and the removal of his country from the terror list which is the major obstacle in this respect.

At the time, sources close to the talks told Sudan Tribune that the two sides agreed to develop a new plan labelled the “five-track engagement +1” to say it would include important parts of the previous five-track engagement that led to the lift of the economic sanctions.

The sources further pointed out that the focus in the new plan will be on the human rights and freedoms particularly religious freedom.

“So, this time Washington wants Khartoum to observe the international law and principles on this respects but also to amend its repressive and coercive laws,” the sources said.

(ST)

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