Sudan’s foreign minister to visit France soon

French Foreign Ministry in Paris

September 17, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour will visit France soon for talks on relations between the two countries, announced the official news agency SUNA on Sunday after a regular meeting of a joint committee in Paris.

After the organisation of several meetings for the opposition groups in Paris, Ghandour in March 2015 accused France of interfering in the Sudanese internal affairs.

The joint political consultation committee, however, resumed its meetings in February 2017 after two years of delay and postponement from the Sudanese authorities.

Following a meeting of the joint committee held in the French capital on Sunday, the Sudanese foreign ministry announced that an agreement was reached on “the visit of the Professor Ibrahim Ghandour to France soon”.

This visit “marks a qualitative shift in political relations by raising the level of exchange of visits between the two countries,” stressed a statement published by SUNA.

The statement further praised the positive spirit shown during the meetings and “the serious desire of the two sides to promote and develop bilateral relations to serve the common interests”.

The French foreign ministry delegation included Eric DANON, Deputy Director General of Political Affairs and Security, Rémi MARÉCHAUX, Director of Africa and the Indian Ocean,Jean-Marc SERE-CHARLET, Director of International Organizations, and Human Rights, Jean-Baptiste FAIVRE, Deputy Director of the Directorate of North Africa and the Middle East, BLATMANN Emmanuelle Ambassador of France to the Sudan, and French Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Stéphane Gruenberg.

The Sudanese side was represented by Mohamed Issa Idam, Director General of American and European Affairs, Dafallah al-Haj Ali, Ambassador of Sudan to France, and Ambassador Khaled Musa, Director of the European Department.

The meetings discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations on the political, cultural and social levels. Also, the Sudanese diplomats briefed their French counterparts on the political development in the country including the national dialogue and the ongoing process to adopt a permanent constitution in Sudan.

“The meeting further discussed the joint efforts to achieve peace in the region, the neighbouring countries and the Sahel region. Further, (it tackled) ways to strengthening cooperation between Sudan and France to combat negative phenomena such as smuggling and human trafficking, terrorism, organized crime and illegal migration,” reads the statement.

France has received thousands of refugees and migrants many of them hope to reach the United Kingdom after their arrival via the Italy’s shores.

Recently, activists and rights groups reported the close cooperation between the Sudanese embassy and French authorities in the repatriation of Sudanese whose asylum requests have been rejected.

The statement didn’t mention a possible role that France, which hosts some rebel leaders, can play in the peace process brokered by the African Union mediators and facilitated by the Troika countries and Germany.