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Sudanese foreign minister to meet EU officials in Brussels Monday

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February 14, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - European Union (EU) envoy to Sudan, Tomas Ulicny, Sunday has discussed with Sudan’s foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour his visit to the EU headquarters in Brussels.

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Ibrahim Ghandour (Photo Suna)

The Sudanese minister is expected to start Monday a three-day visit to Brussels to hold discussions with the EU officials on issues of democracy, climate change, migration and human rights.

According to Ulicny, Ghandour will meet the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, and the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos.

He will also meet a number of MEPs besides the permanent representatives of the EU Political and Security Committee (PSC).

Ulicny described Ghandour’s upcoming visit “a step in the right direction for the Sudanese European relations”, saying it would open the door to a better understanding for Sudan and the region.

He stressed the visit would offer the opportunity to explore new domains for cooperation between Sudan and the EU including migration, climate change and prevention of extremism.

“The visit would pave the way for a permanent Sudanese European dialogue”, he added.

Meanwhile, Ulicny called on the Sudanese government to facilitate the work of the international aid organizations in Sudan to enable them carry out their projects according to their mandate in order to ensure the provision of continued assistance.

He pointed to the increasing humanitarian needs due to regional and international conflicts, saying it has put more pressure on the donors.

Ulicny said the United Nations agencies and other international aid groups and the Sudanese NGO’s intend to execute 58 humanitarian and development projects in Sudan during 2016, pointing the overall value of those projects is estimated at €150 million.

The Sudanese top diplomat will discuss ways for implementing those projects, and call for facilitating the work of the aid groups in order to allow them participate in development.

For his part, Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Ali al-Sadiq described Ghandour’s visit to Brussels as one of his most important visits since taking office.

“The minister would hold high-level talks with the [EU] officials on bilateral cooperation in the domain of combating illegal migration and human trafficking,” he said.

“It is hoped that the EU would provide substantial support for building Sudan’s capacity in this domain,” he added.

Al-Sadiq pointed out that the foreign minister would also discuss the situation in Libya, saying the issue is a source of common interest for both the EU and Sudan.

“The two sides will likely agree to intensify their dialogue through exchanging visits and discussing common issues,” he said.

He added that Ghandour would also discuss with the EU officials a number of issues including the economic sanctions imposed by Washington on Sudan, cancellation of Sudan’s foreign debt besides helping Sudan to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

(ST)

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