Washington D.C, (Saudi Embassy) – Arab foreign ministers today held a preparatory meeting for the 19th Arab Summit in Riyadh. Addressing the inaugural session, Sudanese Foreign Minister Dr. Lam Akol expressed appreciation for the warm welcome extended by the Kingdom to the participating delegations. Dr. Akol hoped that the Arab Summit would yield positive results and take strides to enhance Arab cooperation and meet the aspirations of the Arab nations. Sudan was the host of the 18th Arab Summit.
Dr. Akol said Sudan took over last year’s presidency of Arab League at a time when the Arab nations were facing numerous challenges and developments, notably in Palestine, Lebanon, Somalia and Darfur. He pointed out that Sudan strove to put an end to the aggressive Israeli practices.
Minister Akol praised the Makkah Agreement signed by the Palestinian leaders and welcomed the Palestinian unity government. He also urged the international community to deal positively with the unity government and to work to lift the siege imposed on the Palestinian people.
On the situation in Iraq, the Sudanese foreign minister warned against the escalation of sectarian violence in the country and highlighted the importance of national reconciliation.
Regarding Sudan, Dr. Lam Akol said the government is eager to encourage peace and stability in the south of the country as well as in Darfur province. He also thanked the Arab countries that helped fund the African Union forces in Darfur.
The Sudanese foreign minister reiterated his nation’s rejection of allegations of war crimes in Darfur against two Sudanese nationals by the International Criminal Court. He stated that these accusations are not founded on legal principles and reinforced the government’s stance that it will never extradite any of its citizens for trial outside of the Sudanese judicial system.
Underscoring the importance of extending support for scientific and technological research in the Arab countries Dr. Akol announced the Sudanese government’s donation of land in Khartoum for the establishment of the Arab Federation of Scientific Research as well as specialized scientific centers.