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US Chargé d’affaires: Washington does not seek regime change in Khartoum

August 28, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – US Chargé d’affaires, Joseph D. Stafford, said he was misquoted by a local daily when he was asked if a regime change in Khartoum might help to normalize relations with Sudan.

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U.S. embassy in Khartoum, (photo Department of State)

"My response to this question was and remains that the Sudanese people decide the form and nature of their government; we accept and respect the choice and sovereignty of the Sudanese people," Stafford said.

Last Sunday, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) slammed statements attributed to the American diplomat published by Al-Sudani newspaper saying that regime change would make easy the normalization of bilateral relations.

Badr El-Din Ahmed Ibrahim, NCP official spokesperson, called on the American administration to observe international law and mutual respect for sovereignty in its relations with Sudan.

He went further to accuse Washington of supporting groups that working to overthrow the regime alluding to a list published recently of Sudanese civil society groups funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, a US Foundation to promote democracy in the world.

Stafford, in his statement to Sudan Tribune, reiterated that his government is not seeking to remove "current Sudanese Government". He further added "we are at its full disposal to discuss prospects for normalizing relations or any other matter that it wishes to discuss."

Sudanese officials say Washington did not honour previous pledges to remove economic sanctions since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the former rebel SPLM in 2005.

In 2011, Washington resumed talks over the normalisation of bilateral relations and Obama administration considered dropping Sudan from a list of terror sponsors.

However, the resumption of hostilities in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in the same year pushed the American administration to stop the whole process, as some US lobby groups called for the US to go as arming the Sudanese rebels to topple Bashir’s regime.

Hereunder is what Ambassador Stafford said in his interview with Al-Sudani. He speaks in Arabic language.