Sudan Rebuffs US Conditions to Join Istanbul Conference
Khartoum – Sudan has rejected US conditions to participate in Istanbul conference by seeking to include new issues on the agenda of the conference, describing US justifications as unrealistic as technical arrangements for the conference have already been finalized. It considered the US demand for postponement of the conference as reneging on previous commitment to build capacities of the two countries, accusing the US of pursuing double standards policy, citing a similar conference hosted by the US in December 2011to support South Sudan.
In an official statement issued by the Ministry of International Cooperation, a copy of which is received by Sudan Vision, the Sudanese Government denounced the US drive to include new agenda items concerning South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
The statement decried US threat to instigate countries not to participate if organizers proceed with conference plan, indicating that the conference was not Sudan’s idea but when it was intimated Sudan supported the efforts and engaged in preparations.
The statement pointed out Sudan’s considerable efforts to contain the humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile regions, calling on the US to assist in addressing the situation and to recognize the Sudanese Government legitimate rights to defend civilians and to achieve security and peace in the country.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the ministerial committee for preparing the conference, Ishraqa Sayed Mahmoud, told Sudan Vision that the committee has decided to engage in diplomatic efforts to tour the countries participating in the conference to block US designs seeking to foil the meeting.
“New date for the conference will be determined soon” she said, adding “all countries participating in the conference see no logical grounds for postponement”
The Sudanese Foreign Ministry earlier summoned the US Charge d’ Affaires in Khartoum Dennis Hankinson to clarify his country’s position on the conference in Istanbul.
According to Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rahmatalah Mohamed Osman, Hankinson said the humanitarian situation in South Kordofan is an obstacle for his country’s participation in the conference, saying Washington was still considering the matter for a final stance.
The conference is scheduled to take place in Istanbul in June 2012.
By Ibrahim Al-Jack, 11/03/2012