By: Alula Berhe / Zuleikha Abdul Raziq
Khartoum- Prime Minister Dr. Abdalla Hamdok has called on the partners of the Friends of Sudan group to work together to overcome the challenges facing Sudan and support Sudan’s peace, in which the government has made great progress.
Addressing the Friends of Sudan meeting hosted by Khartoum yesterday, the Sudanese Prime Minister added that the environment is conducive to cooperation and successfully overcome challenges.
He pointed out that the expectations of the Sudanese government are great to support the economy through foreign investments to address the economy so that it would be on the right track.
Hamdok referred to the need for the partners to support the peace of Sudan, pointing out that the government has made big strides with the armed movements.
The Prime Minister asserted his government’s commitment to holding the constitutional conference and organizing free elections that lead to the aspired life.
Hamdok referred to the formation of the Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers prior to the formation of the Legislative Council.
He emphasized that Sudan faces many economic challenges namely foreign debt, financing and security sector reform, pointing to the success of his visit to the United States of America, which is expected to result in the removal of Sudan’s name from the list of states sponsoring terrorism soon.
Hamdok asserted his government’s openness and working in transparency and inclusion to achieve change, noting that there is no ready model for democracy that follows totalitarianism only by learning lessons, expecting cooperation with the partners to achieve a bright future in the region, which is full of challenges.
He affirmed his commitment to preserving peace, implementing human rights, and addressing youth issues so that they can have opportunities instead of taking risks through illegal migration, by providing employment opportunity and supporting health and education.
For her part, State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Marianne Hagen, stressed the continuation of the Friends of Sudan to support the peace process, which will have an impact on the countries of the region and the seven neighboring countries.
Hagen stressed the importance of working towards a serious dialogue to ensure the success of the Sudanese peace negotiations held in Juba.
In her address to the conference, Hagen called for the inclusion of the sustainable development goals in the budget for the next year to ensure the process of sustainable growth and called on Sudan not to rely on external resources which she described as transitional process and not permanent.
Hagen noted the need to develop the private sector and work for the parallel sector boom to ensure the economy moves.
She said that holding the conference in Khartoum is evidence that the international community is supporting the transitional Government, not only with words but also with deeds.
She announced the cooperation of the Norwegian government with Sudan in the program for managing resources, as well as its cooperation in supporting economic partnerships and mobilizing them to achieve the slogan of the Revolution, Freedom, Peace and Justice.
It is worth mentioning that the meetings of the Friends of Sudan conference started at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum on Wednesday morning, chaired by Norway, with the participation of the African Development Bank, the European Union (France, Germany), the International Monetary Fund (Kuwait, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States of America) and the World Bank.
Prime Minister Dr. Abdalla Hamdok addressed the opening session.
A press statement of the Friends of Sudan indicated that the forum was formed more than a year ago and that the first official meeting was held in Washington and successive meetings were held in (Washington, Brussels and Berlin) in March, May, July and October, and future meetings would be held in other member countries.
The statement pointed out that the current focus of the Friends of Sudan is to mobilize and coordinate support from the international community for the priorities of the transitional government that culminates in the holding of free and fair elections in the year 2022.
The statement pointed out that the Friends of Sudan realize that a well-defined peace and development compact between the government and international partners greatly improves the chances of successful three-year transition and future sustained development and this will be underlined by the principles of coordination and mutual accountability, and a timeline for firm commitments to support the transition will be discussed.
The statement stated that the discussions in today’s meeting are expected to determine the best way for the group to support priorities for the Government of Sudan, including the peace process and economic recovery and support for health and education.
The statement stated that the meeting would set the stage for an international pledging conference scheduled to be held in mid-2020.