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Sudan, U.S., Norway discuss progress on five-track engagement, South Sudan crisis

Sudan's FM Gandour meets with Norway and U.S officials in Oslo on 12 June 2017 (ST Photo)
June 12, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A tripartite meeting between Sudan, United States and Norway Monday has discussed the Sudanese-American relations and the situation in South Sudan, said Sudan’s Foreign Ministry

In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir said Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour has met in Oslo with the representative of the Office of the U.S. Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Paul Steven and the Norwegian Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Erling Skojonsberg.

According to Khidir, the meeting discussed “the course of Sudan-US relations regarding the five-track engagement between the two sides besides some regional issues, especially the situation South Sudan”.

On 13 January, former U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order to ease the 19-year sanctions against Sudan enabling trade and investment transactions to resume with the east African nation.

Washington is involved in a five-track engagement process with the Sudan over the permanent lift of sanctions on Sudan. Several agencies, including the State Department, have to present to President Donald Trump this month their findings and recommendations over the fate of the sanctions.

The five-track process includes the fight against terrorism, Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Sudan’s role in the peace process in South Sudan, Sudan’s peace and the humanitarian situation in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

SUDAN-NORWAY RELATIONS

Meanwhile, Ghandour on Monday has discussed with his Norwegian counterpart Børge Brende ways to promote bilateral ties between the two countries in the various fields.

According to Khidir, the meeting also discussed regional and international challenges besides the internal developments in Sudan.

He added that Ghandour invited Brende to visit Khartoum, saying the latter has accepted the invitation and promised to fulfil it as soon as possible.

Khidir pointed that Ghandour has briefed Brende on the pivotal role played by Sudan to resolve some regional crises, particularly in South Sudan, stressing participation of President Omer al-Bashir in the IGAD summit on South Sudan.

The press release added that Ghandour pointed to Sudan’s engagement with the regional and international partners to address the crisis in South Sudan, stressing the importance to reach a ceasefire and resume talks among all warring parties.

It pointed that the two sides agreed to continue the work of the political consultation mechanisms between the two countries, saying Norway vowed to support Sudan’s request to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Khidir further said Sudan’s top diplomat and his Norwegian counterpart agreed to exchange diplomatic training between the two countries, saying Brende pledged to support peace efforts in Darfur and the Two Areas.

(ST)