Sudanese Minister urges lifting of unilateral sanctions that were weighing down country’s development

Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sudan. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

27 September 2013 – Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, the Foreign Minister of Sudan today urged the international community to do more to support cooperation between his country and South Sudan, as well as to lift unilateral sanctions that are undercutting efforts to achieve sustainable development.

Ali Ahmed Karti opened his address by informing the Assembly that he was deeply disturbed to report that the United States Government denied a visa for President Omar Al-Bashir to attend to proceedings in New York. This action violates the Headquarters agreement, he declared.

He said that President Bashir is known throughout Africa as a man of peace; the man ended a bloody war in Sudan that had been a residual from the days of colonialism. The unprecedented and incomprehensible action taken by the United States to deny a visa to the leader of a sovereign nation must be addressed by the international community. “If this is allowed to happen to Sudan, then the same thing can happen to any other member of the United Nations,” he said.

On other issues, he said that Sudan had made significant progress and would soon be able to adopt a final constitution. “Today we are working to develop a strong economic system even though we have to deal with the fallout form economic sanctions that have been imposed illegally on us,” Mr. Karti said, urging that those sanctions be removed so that Sudan could continue its development progress.

He said that he was pleased to report that there had been significant improvement in the relations between Darfur and Khartoum. Humanitarian needs are being met in Darfur based on agreements reached with UN agencies, including UNICEF.

As for relations with South Sudan, he said the period following that country’s independence was filled with some tension because of unresolved issues. Yet, the two countries were able to sign a slate of agreements to resolve some outstanding issues and had signed further agreements to address pending matters. “We will spare no effort to ensure good relations with South Sudan,” he said.

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