Riyadh- Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour expressed optimism at the right steps taken by the U.S. administration, saying Washington is convinced that Khartoum does not sponsor terrorism, adding that he is looking forward to a move to lift U.S. sanctions by the end of the year.
“It is known that Sudan is under siege since 1993, but a dialogue has been launched with the U.S. administration on different levels since January 2015 … Yet, we can’t assume that there will be a closure soon despite the mutual desire to have normal relations, given the importance of the U.S. and Sudan,” Ghandour told Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview.
Commenting on the accusations targeting the International Criminal Court (ICC) after rumors that its officials and its chief were bribed to forge testimonies against Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and to claim that Darfur was a victim of genocide, Ghandour said that the Sudanese case had been transferred to the ICC from the U.N. Security Council although Sudan is not part of the Rome Treaty.
Furthermore, some witnesses have made false testimonies against Sudan, and the ICC chief has received millions of dollars in bribes to make accusations against Al-Bashir.
Regarding security, political and economic agreements signed between Khartoum and Juba that have still not entered the implementation phase, Ghandour stated: “We requested that our brothers in South Sudan implement what was agreed on in September 2012 and in the follow up meetings of the political and security committee… The U.S. administration reported the irrefutable evidence in its latest statement, declaring that South Sudan is prioritizing rebellious movements over the Sudanese government.”
As for Amnesty International’s accusations on the use of chemical weapons in Darfur, the Sudanese Foreign Minister said: “This is a lie that coincides with the internal dialogue in Sudan and its unprecedented national unity. This lie also comes as Sudan witnesses an external openness which is the first for years.”
“Reports of the Sudanese Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization have shown that in the past 19 months, 971 normal births were recorded and no patients having symptoms caused by chemical weapons were hospitalized,” he added.
Speaking about the possibility of amending the constitution to include the recommendations of the National Dialogue, Ghandour did not deny this suggestion.