Khartoum, Sep. 18 (SUNA)- Following is an unofficial translation of the report issued Saturday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the public opinion and press on its policies and accomplishments in the past period:-
What we practice in our foreign policy is an expression of the Sudan of the revolution and a response to the internal and external changes. We are currently preparing for the convening of the National Conference on Foreign Relations, and we aim with it to build a balanced and agreed upon policy to return Sudan to a point of “equilibrium” in managing its foreign relations. The great victory that has been achieved on support to Sudan position on the Renaissance Dam from the Security Council confirms that Sudan is moving in the right direction. We will soon announce the new diplomatic coverage by presenting ambassadors who carry the aims of the revolution. We have an open and flexible mind in dealing with the border issues; it combines the concern for balance and the emphasis on rights and their maintenance. and maximize the gains and benefits from communication, exchange and positive interaction.
This journalistic briefing is a platform for building a reciprocal and complementary relationship between diplomacy and the media, the basis from which is diplomacy can benefit from the media in employing information, and harnessing the role of the media in marketing the foreign policy of the Sudan of the revolution. This is because we are convinced that the media is very important in this transitional phase, especially since the media (traditional and new) has opened a wide field for people's participation in drawing up the foreign policy and in the decision-making. It is true that some media platforms used to broadcast rumors and false news that greatly harmed the diplomatic work of the country, but it is a tax on freedom of expression, which we hope to employ in the service of the country.
During the past period, there was a great effort exerted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it received dozens of foreign delegations, and participated in dozens of events inside and outside Sudan, as a result of the openness and change brought about by the glorious December revolution. What we witness and practice in our foreign policy is an expression of the spirit of the revolution, and an introduction to the proactive Sudan, which seeks peace, stability and security with its neighbors, the region and the whole world, in understanding of the effect of all internal and external changes in the formulation of our foreign policy, and that all our diplomatic moves are only a practical translation of these policy and its priorities.
Sudan foreign relations under the former regime were characterized by turmoil, a narrow ideological view and centralization. It was an expression of the regime’s orientations in preserving power but not preserving the national sovereignty. In an unprecedented manner, the international criminal prosecution as a result, as well as great isolation that reached the imposition of sanctions and the severing of relations. The transitional government inherited this dire reality and the heavy legacy.
The constitutional document drew up a clear trend based on building Sudan foreign relations on the basis of the national sovereignty and common interests. The transitional government announced a policy of openness towards the world, partnership with the international community in maintaining international peace and security, and establishing balanced relations that serve Sudan's supreme interests. Therefore, this policy resulted in the lifting of sanctions, removing Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, addressing debts, and supporting the transition in Sudan. On this occasion, I will not forget to salute those who preceded me in leading the ministry: Ambassador Asma Mohamed Abdalla, and Professor Omar Gamar-Eddin. They laid down a solid foundation in the files of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their giving is still linked to the Ministry’s Administrative Council. We are one chain to serve the country, implement the goals of the revolution, and the goals of the transition
I say with confidence that Sudan has entered a new stage in its foreign relations after the glorious December revolution, characterized by the restoration of Sudan historical role in the region, the restoration of its good reputation in the world, and the approach of harnessing this role and this good reputation in achieving its national interests and protecting its national security. Our new policy is based on heading towards Africa and being open to it in all fields. Sudan's geo-political position is to make Sudan as a trusted partner in Africa first, and then the rest of the world. Likewise, our approach to the Arab World stems from seeking to create relations far from pivotal and close to Arab solidarity that serves issues of security and stability in Arab countries. Our foreign policy towards our neighbors is based on increasing the interest in their issues and assistance, and building good-neighborly relations based on common interests, trade cooperation and cultural exchange. We have a rich Sudanese experience that can be transferred in neighboring countries. Globally, we are working at a steady pace to strengthen and develop the bilateral relations with the United States of America, Turkey, Japan, the European Union countries, Britain, and the BRICS countries, especially China and Russia, through new cooperation protocols. In addition to partnerships with the United Nations and its agencies and the international development, economic, financial and advisory institutions.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have initiated a wide diplomatic move to reactivate all the bilateral agreements with countries, reactivate the joint ministerial committees and political consultation committees, and expand partnerships in all fields.
These are the directives of foreign policy and the indicators of its approach to achieve the goals of the transition and the diplomacy that can translate them into political, economic and security gains for the benefit of Sudan. We hope, through this press briefing to shed light on the most important files and urgent questions that have occupied public opinion during the past period, in three important axes:
First: Foreign Policy:
The government is working for convening a national conference on foreign relations, aimed at erasing the humiliating effects on foreign relations established by the ousted regime, agreeing on non-central regional relations, and balanced international relations between the competing blocs for the benefit of the country, and setting up an agreed upon foreign policy, which will transform temporary and opportunistic policies. sustainable and strategic policies, foreign policies that would return Sudan to a point of "equilibrium" in managing its foreign relations in its geo-strategic dimension, as an active contributor to international peace and security. In general, we can present the features of foreign policy in the light of the priorities of the transitional government and the internal and external changes.
Foreign policy under the priorities of the transitional government:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs works on the goals and priorities of the transitional government in its five axes (the economic and social axis, peace, security, foreign relations, transition issues) through ten projects, and closely follow-up the implementation through urgent interventions, and the plan for the second half of this year, which is (economic diplomacy preventive diplomacy, the success of Sudan’s presidency of the IGAD, strengthening the relationship with the Sudanese communities, coordination with UNITAMS, the peace and conflict resolution initiatives, introducing the Sudan to the revolution by the youth, strengthening diplomatic missions, solving the financial problems, unifying foreign discourse in accordance with strategy and foreign policy, and openness towards the world. The Ministry has made reasonable progress in these projects, and work is still going on until the end of the year.
In the economic and social axis, the ministry has made several interventions, the most important of which are: addressing countries and funds to write off Sudan’s debts, holding meetings with heads of state, foreign ministers and ambassadors for the purpose of debt relief, attracting external development support from a number of funds and institutions of financing and development aid, and providing facilities to Sudanese and foreign businessmen, partnership with national businessmen, establishing a foreign support fund, supporting efforts to join the World Trade Organization, and boosting the trade exchange with neighboring countries. In the axis of peace and within the framework of IGAD, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked to establish the IGAD ministerial meeting on South Sudan, and arranged meetings with the foreign ministers of Kenya, Uganda, Somalia and South Sudan, and organized a visit for the Executive Secretary of IGAD to Sudan, agreed on the IGAD program, and prepared for a conference on sustainable solutions to the issues of the displaced refugees, returnees and host communities in Sudan and South Sudan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is following up the peace process of South Sudan, and has participated in the conference to include the agreement in the constitution, the agreement between Sudan, Niger and Libya on support to stability and peace in Chad, and the consensus with France to support stability in Chad, and to present a mediation proposal within the IGAD framework to address the Somali crisis, and coordinate regional efforts to provide relief to refugees as a result of the conflict in the Tigray region, as it is known that Dr. Abdalla Hamdouk is the current IGAD president. In the security axis, coordination was made to combat terrorism and violent extremism with the countries of Nigeria and Niger, tightening the coordination and reactivating the partnership with the International Organization for Migration to combat illegal migration, and making all arrangements to host the Continental Center for Combat of Illegal Migration, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, and Arab tours were made to explain the crisis with Ethiopia, in addition to extensive tours in Africa, including (South Sudan, Comoros, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Niger), and the success in conveying Sudan vision on the crisis with Ethiopia (the borders and the Renaissance Dam) with meetings with Arab and African foreign ministers and influential countries, and through phone calls and meetings with almost all ambassadors. We sought to influence the position of the African Union Commission, influence the European, the United States and the African position in favor of Sudan on the two issues, and study the experiences of the countries of the Niger River and Senegal River on the sharing of water benefits as an experiment to solve a crisis of the Renaissance Dam, and the participation in the national mechanism to combat human trafficking, and the participation in meetings that contributed to raising Sudan’s classification to the highest rating in the US report and participated in the fourth meeting of the Joint Commission for the Borders between Sudan and South Sudan.
In the axis of foreign relations, raising the Sudanese - Canadian relations to the level of ambassador, addressing the situation in some foreign missions, naming ambassadors and charges d’affaires, setting regulations governing immunities and privileges for the foreign missions, examining all complaints of Sudanese working in regional and international organizations, and participating in the meetings of the Arab League: ministerial meetings in Cairo, meetings on the Palestinian issue, consultations on the Doha Renaissance Dam, participation in the Sahel and Sahara Conference, participation in the Conference of the Lakes Organization, participation in the Conference of the Foreign Ministers on the coronavirus epidemic, and reactivation of political consultation committees with Kenya, Egypt, Switzerland, Uganda , the United Kingdom, Rwanda, Qatar, the Emirates, Congo, South Sudan, reactivating the joint ministerial committees with Kenya, Qatar, Egypt, South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and agreeing on diplomatic training with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Ireland, Spain, reactivating the principle of reciprocity in ceremonies, preparing the matrix for implementing agreements with South Sudan and Egypt, and preparing a national action plan for the file of countries bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf Aden. In the axis of transition issues, we made cooperation and coordination with all United Nations specialized agencies and international organizations for support to the transition, besides coordination with UNITAMS for the success of the mission’s role. We made Communication and held meetings with Sudanese communities in a number of countries (Egypt, South Sudan, Kenya, Comoros, Rwanda, Senegal Niger, Qatar, UAE, Uganda, France, Russia, Bahrain), and a decision was issued to form a committee to follow up and handle consular complaints for Sudanese communities, and a directive was issued to all missions to list and monitor the conditions of Sudanese nationals detained in prisons abroad to 41 missions abroad, and their number was estimated at 2,031 prisoners, and to adopt all measures to reactivate Sudan’s membership in the Human Rights Council, and to introduce Sudan of the revolution of the youth, and to assist in finding technical and technical support for the work of the committees for investigation in the killing of the revolution’s martyrs from countries around the world.
The Foreign policy in the light of internal and external variables:
Throughout its history, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given Africa special attention and importance in its overall movements and activities, based on what the African continent represents as a circle of close affiliation and a top priority for Sudan, due to the geographical and strategic location, social and cultural dimensions, and intertwined economic and commercial interests. After the glorious December revolution, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs increased its interest in the African continent, and strived earnestly and sincerely to develop and strengthen its relations with various African countries, the ministry worked in determination and sincerity to put Sudan in its correct, historical and pioneering position at the heart of the joint African action process, in confirmation of its sincere commitment to the issues of Africa as a whole in all fields. At the level of the African Union and sub-regional organizations, Sudan's activity has clearly emerged since the outbreak of the revolution. Indeed, we have seen that these organizations welcome the revolution and political change in Sudan, and their commitment to support the transitional period. Sudan has been actively participating in various forums related to joint African action, such as the participation of the Prime Minister in the Summit on Financing African Economies, which was held in Paris in mid-May, as well as his participation in the Renewal Summit of the International Development Fund that was held in Abidjan in mid-July, which aimed to mobilizing the necessary financial resources to enable the African countries to overcome the challenges facing them, including the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, where the Abidjan Declaration was issued, which stipulated the commitment of countries and donor financing institutions to raise an amount of 90 billion US dollars for this purpose before the end of the current year 2021. Sudan currently chairs the IGAD organization at the level of the presidency and the Council of Foreign Ministers, and has been positively involved in a number of files such as: Somalia and South Sudan, and in this capacity it also seeks to contribute to solving the crisis in Ethiopia, based on and embodying the slogan of “African solutions to African issues”. In South Sudan, the Sudanese diplomacy is active, based on brotherly and good-neighborliness relations with South Sudan State, as well as by virtue of Sudan presidency of the IGAD, in sponsoring a peaceful settlement of differences between the parties there. Thanks to the bilateral cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan, and in solidarity with and under the auspices of IGAD, and with the participation of a number of international partners, Sudan will host a conference in Khartoum to discuss issues of asylum and displacement in Sudan and South Sudan during the coming period.
The relations between Sudan and South Sudan are witnessing stability and mutual trust and even close cooperation, and this was reflected in the positive and mutual constructive roles that each country has been playing in the peace process in the other country. Sudan has recently named its special envoy to South Sudan, His Excellency Ambassador Abdul Al-Rahman Mohamed Bakhit, who launched his activities with a recent visit to Juba as part of a high-level delegation. The bilateral relations between the two countries are also witnessing remarkable progress, evidenced by the recent agreement between the two sides to open a number of border crossings to facilitate the flow of goods and the movement of citizens. Sudan is currently a member of the tripartite leadership of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, along with Angola and Congo Brazzaville, and at the beginning of this month, it hosted in Khartoum a high-level workshop on natural resources in the countries of this organization, which includes 12 member states in Central and Eastern Africa, and it is hoped that Sudan will be able to host the summit of the organization during the next few years, and to be the president of the organization next year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs attaches special concern to its relations with Sudan’s neighboring countries, foremost of which is the Arab Republic of Egypt. Sudan affirms its keenness to strengthen its relations with Egypt in all fields, preserve Sudan’s national and strategic security, and enhance the relations of cooperation and mutual exchange of interests, benefits and issues of interest. There are many linking factors that govern our relationship with Ethiopia, including the long common borders, the human and cultural intermingling, and historical and political ties throughout history. The Blue Nile River, which links the two countries mainly, stands out as a geographical landmark with clear strategic dimensions, as emerged recently in the issue of the Renaissance Dam. It should be recognized that the bilateral relations between the two countries are currently witnessing tension due to the two issues of the Ethiopian allegations in the Sudanese Al-Fashqa area, as well as due to its intransigence regarding the conclusion of a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam. In both of these issues, Sudan is reassured of the integrity of its position. The concern with the historical and developing relationship with neighboring Eritrea is one of the most important priorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as Eritrea represents an extension of relations and social interaction. Therefore, we are keen on political coordination in the issues of the Horn of Africa and the neighborhood, as well as trade, economic and cultural relations with Eritrea. The relations between Sudan and Chad are truly special and unique. This is because, throughout history, the two countries have remained in a state of natural and spontaneous integration since the earliest times and until the date of the establishment of the kingdoms and sultanates that appeared in them. The two countries maintained links, communication, and share many ethnic, cultural, and geographic commonalities, as well as numerous economic and commercial interests and links. The bilateral relations during the era of the former regime witnessed instability, ups and downs, apathy and recovery. The two parties agreed to conclude a good-neighborly agreement, and to establish joint forces to monitor the borders of the two countries, and then the two countries proceeded to cooperate and coordinate in the military and security aspects. An agreement was also signed for the use of Port-Sudan by Chad. The joint committee was also reactivated and was even elevated to a higher committee headed by the prime ministers of the two countries. The two sides also signed a number of agreements, protocols and executive programs that include cooperation in several fields. Following the unfortunate departure of former President Idriss Deby in April of this year, Sudan stood by the brotherly Chadian people and the Chadian government in their plight, and expressed its strong support for the transitional authority headed President Mohamed Idriss Deby. The large number of official and popular delegations that participated in offering condolences for the loss of the late president. Despite the existence of institutional frameworks to codify the relations of joint cooperation represented in the integration between the two countries, even in theory, the results of the huge number of agreements that were signed within the framework of that integration over the past years have always remained below ambition, a matter which necessitates a review of all those agreements in order to reactivate them.
Regarding the situation that existed in Libya during the past decade. Sudan has remained deeply concerned and preoccupied with it, and has also continued to share the international and regional community's concern over the security and stability conditions in neighboring Libya. The source of this concern and concern is the concern for the safety of the Libyan people, the security of Libya and its territorial integrity, as well as the negative repercussions of the breach of its security contract on regional peace and stability in the region.
Therefore, Sudan has been closely following up everything that is going on inside Libya, as it has maintained its embassy in Tripoli and its general consulate in Benghazi throughout these years, knowing that Libya hosts a big Sudanese community estimated at hundreds of thousands. Sudan welcomed the political process that took place in Geneva and resulted in the establishment of the current transitional government, and Sudan remained in contact with the Libyan leadership. In fact, Sudan participated in a delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Conference of Libya’s Neighboring Countries, hosted by Algeria recently, where an extensive discussion took place on ways to ensure restoring security and stability to Libya, removing terrorist elements, foreign militants and mercenaries from it, as well as supporting the transition process and holding general elections in the country next December. It was also stressed the need for a joint quadripartite force between Sudan, Libya, Niger and Chad to monitor the common border area and to confront all negative practices in it.
Central Africa is a very important neighboring country for Sudan, and therefore Sudan is very interested and eager to establish security and stability in it, given its direct impact on Sudan. It also represents a promising market for Sudanese exports, and it has many resources that Sudan can benefit from. Sudan has remained concerned with the security and stability in Central Africa on the background of the conflict that has been going on in it for a few years. The Khartoum Peace Agreement between the parties in Central Africa, which was signed in February 2019, remains the only legal framework that exists for any possible settlement of the situation in Central Africa. To confirm the concern with the situation in Central Africa, we have recently nominated a veteran Sudanese diplomat as Sudan's special envoy to Central Africa, with the aim of coordinating Sudan's efforts to reach that settlement in solidarity with all other regional and international partners. Our foreign relations with Arab countries are well established and old, and Sudan has large communities in Arab countries. The Gulf States, through their regional and sovereign funds, have submitted a number of projects to Sudan. The transitional government is working with these countries to address debt, open investment and development cooperation, and coordinate in the fight against terrorism and extremism. We have made great progress in reactivating the joint ministerial and political consultation committees, and Sudan's foreign policy towards Arab countries has found a great response away from polarization and axes. At the level of the Arab League, Sudan's policy stems from its quest to reform the League of Arab States, and to strengthen the Sudanese presence in it in a way that reflects the status of the Sudan of the revolution. Our foreign policy towards Asia is based on continuing joint coordination and political action to strengthen the economic relations, reactivate the trade exchange, attract Asian capitals to Sudan, and to introduce the Asian technology and expertise in the areas of increasing production, especially from China, India and Japan. Sudan seeks to cooperate with the European Union through a strategic dialogue, based on respect for democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, combating terrorism and extremism, and on bilateral relations with each country separately, and on collective relations with the European Union.
Sudan highly appreciates the European Union's support for the priorities of the transitional government, according to a clear vision and operational coordination in all areas of the strategic partnership with the European Union. The Sudanese diplomacy has recently adopted an effective diplomatic movement with European countries, and a number of economic conferences have been organized in Germany and France, and direct communication channels have been opened to discuss opportunities for strengthening the bilateral relations in various fields, and mutual support in international forums, and great efforts have been made to build strategic relations with some countries. Our goal is to obtain development support, debt settlement, normalization with financial institutions, and benefit from EU initiatives. The relationship with the United States is one of the priorities of Sudan's foreign policy. Through it, we seek to continue cooperating with the United States in the file of combating terrorism, and international and regional issues. The United States has taken several steps to support the transitional government, the most important of which were: removing Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, lifting economic sanctions, and providing a bridge loan to the World Bank to clear Sudan’s arrears towards the bank, enabling Sudan to benefit from new facilities and loans from this international financial institution, and providing facilities and credits available to American companies for investment and trade exchange in Sudan, in conjunction with development support and technical assistance for the peace process. The relationship as a whole is witnessing a major qualitative transformation, paving the way for creating a new type of partnership and strengthening the links between the Sudanese and American spheres, in the fields of trade, investment, technology, education, training and others. France played an important role in presenting Sudan to the world and organizing the Paris Conference, which brought about an important shift in the course of relations with France. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to strengthen the relations with France and to coordinate in the implementation of the outcomes of the Paris Conference. Our relations with Russia are well developed in the fields of: political consultation, economic and trade cooperation, military cooperation, and the joint ministerial committee, which is represented by the Joint Governmental Committee for Economic and Trade Cooperation headed by the Ministers of Mining in the two countries and is concerned with strengthening the cooperation in all areas of trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation.. The initiative of the Federal Republic of Germany was developed in June 2019 by organizing the Friends of Sudan Conference to coordinate international support for the political and economic transition in Sudan, which highlighted Sudan’s cooperation with international financial institutions, to pave the way for them for a possible debt relief process within the framework of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. Our relations with this country are in an advanced stage. We appreciate the decision of the German Parliament (Bundestag) to direct the German government to support Sudan and to resume bilateral development cooperation. The distinguished relationship with Germany culminated in a broad movement of the German community in humanitarian aid to Sudan, the support of German organizations for Sudan's efforts in drafting the constitution, and building government capacities. The United Kingdom has contributed to supporting Sudan in international forums, and has played a positive role in the transition process and its support in all fields. Therefore, our policy towards the United Kingdom is based on strengthening the economic cooperation, reactivating the joint work mechanisms with it, and benefiting from the technological capabilities of the United Kingdom, and we seek to reactivate the bilateral cooperation with it, especially in the cultural, educational and training fields. The Sudanese - Chinese relations are going well, and we seek to reactivate joint mechanisms in a way that implements memorandums of understanding and projects of the Belt and Road Initiative, in a manner that serves the interests of the two countries and enhances the investments. We are working to strengthen the historical relations with Turkey, and expand the horizons of cooperation. The visit of the President of the Sovereignty Council to Turkey was successful, and the relations were put in their proper framework, during which a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed, and Sudan welcomed Turkey’s mediation to find a solution to the border crisis between Sudan and Ethiopia.
Second: Sudanese diplomacy:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has worked on several reform projects for Sudanese diplomacy in order to get out of the inherited failure and international isolation to openness towards the world and integration and partnership with the international community. This foreign policy certainly calls for real reforms of Sudanese diplomacy, targeting the legislation, policies, mechanisms and processes required for its implementation and management. Indeed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has adopted a package of reforms to rehabilitate Sudanese diplomacy, not only by restoring its strength, but also by re-engaging it and dealing with the world, and renewing diplomatic capacity according to the requirements of the times, through the following projects.
The priority files of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Renaissance Dam: One of the issues that obsessed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the previous period was the Renaissance Dam issue, which was given a special concern because it is linked to national security. Therefore, we intensified diplomatic efforts on this issue and the need to reach a binding legal agreement that would benefit all parties.
Sudan's firm and clear position in the Renaissance Dam crisis is based on the reference of international law, and on previous agreements between Sudan and Ethiopia, in addition to the Declaration of Principles signed between the leaders of the three countries in Khartoum. Sudan stands with the Ethiopian right to develop its capabilities and benefit from the waters of the Blue Nile and to enhance its resources, without prejudice to the rights of others, especially the rights of Sudan and Egypt, and that if the parties want to reap common benefits from the dam project, they cannot be achieved without a legal agreement binding on all In particular, the issue of filling, its stages, operation and its stages is detailed below.
The Sudanese diplomacy, supported by the state and the government with all its relevant agencies, has been managing this file wisely and competently, and this is evidenced by the estimated diplomatic achievement that Sudan has reached recently with the issuance of a presidential statement from the UN Security Council, such in response to Sudan’s vision of the correct methodology for resuming the negotiation process, and this confirms that we are in the direction that is correct, and therefore it is hoped that this will help the concerned parties to reach a binding legal agreement on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam that takes into account the concerns and interests of the three countries.