Sudanese, Belgian Foreign Ministers hold talks


Khartoum : The Sudanese and Belgian foreign ministers Tuesday held talks and reviewed progress of bilateral relations, implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and developments in Darfur.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Lam Akol, chaired the Sudanese side while Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht, headed the Belgian delegation.

In a press statement to SUNA, Dr. Akol said the talks were fruitful, with the two sides agreeing to continue consultations through their Foreign Ministries and other forums.

He said the Belgian government agreed to provide Sudan with technical and capacity building support, especially with regard to helping Sudan implement the CPA and achieving stability in Darfur.

He added that Belgium also agreed to provide training for a number of Sudanese diplomats in Belgium and the two sides agreed on the importance of completing negotiations for an agreement on avoiding double-taxation.

He said the two countries also agreed to accelerate the procedure of signing an investment protection agreement and the Belgian government agreed to provide scholarships for Sudanese to study at the Tropical Diseases Centre in Belgium.

Dr. Akol said the two sides agreed that priority shall be given to a peaceful and political solution to the Darfur issue and they shared identical views on the importance of the international community urging non-signatories of the Darfur Peace Agreement to join the peace process toward reaching a lasting peaceful solution.

Dr. Akol said that Belgium welcomed Sudan’s agreement on the United Nations-African Union (UN-AU) “Heavy Support Packageâ€? and agreed to boost efforts led by the UN and AU envoys, Jan Eliason and Dr. Salem Ahmed Salem, respectively, for the solution of the Darfur issue.

Dr. Akol said the two sides stressed the importance of pressing ahead with the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and urged the international community to fulfill its commitments at the Oslo Donors’ Conference for rehabilitation and development of the war-affected areas.