Sudan and EU agree to continue strategic cooperation

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In a press release, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir said Sudan’s foreign ministry under-secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Nai’m on Monday has met with the EU envoy to Khartoum Jean-Michel Dumond.

Khidir pointed that the meeting discussed political relations between Sudan and the EU besides issues of combating illegal migration and human trafficking and development.

“The two sides agreed to cooperate strategically and to continue full coordination at all levels during the coming period,” read the press release.

According to the foreign ministry, Dumond praised Sudan’s pivotal role in addressing regional issues and underlined EU’s support for the peace process in Sudan and keenness to promote cooperation between the two sides.

Also, the foreign ministry said Dumond announced that arrangements are underway to carry out a number of visits by senior EU officials to Sudan, pointing that a senior EU parliamentary delegation will visit Khartoum from 19 to 24 April.

It added that the EU envoy further hailed the work of the joint higher committee for cooperation, saying its work would lead to establishing strategic relations between Sudan and the EU.

For his part, al-Nai’m stressed Sudan’s readiness to cooperate with the EU to achieve the desired goals, pointing to the importance of the good preparation to activate the role of the higher committee for political consultation.

He called for enhancing efforts to cancel Sudan’s external debt and promote investment, welcoming the EU’s initiative to open an European chamber of commerce in Khartoum soon.

The Sudanese diplomat also pointed to the need to implement agreements between the two sides regarding development cooperation and funding of projects to combat illegal migration.

It is worth to mentions that Sudan has forged a strategic partnership with several European countries and the EU to combat illegal migration and human trafficking.

Sudan has been under EU sanctions since the 1989 coup d’état and didn’t receive any development aid from Europe.

However, the European body reconsidered its position following the weaves of illegal migrants from Syria, Iraq, and Horn of Africa countries. Sudan is identified as a source of migrants to Europe and a transit country for migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.

In April 2016, the EU officially allocated Sudan €100 million to improve the living conditions for refugees, help Sudanese returnees to reintegrate back into society, and to improve security at the border.

In addition to this support, Sudan benefits from additional funding under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, in particular from a €40 million programme to better manage migration in the region.