Paris Conference to be held today to support Sudan’s political transition

Khartoum was blacklisted in the State Sponsors of Terrorism list on the grounds that it supported terrorist groups welcoming Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden between 1991 and 1996.

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Following Sudan’s removal from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list in the last months of 2020, a high-level conference on economy and business opportunities will be held in Paris on 17 May, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, to reintegrate the North African nation into the international community.

A high-level delegation of 31 people from Sudan, including Chairman of the Sovereignty Council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, will attend the conference.

It is expected that the social, cultural and economic issues of Sudan will be discussed at the conference to be held in the Grand Palace in Paris. State officials plan to grant them various concessions to encourage foreign investors.

It is known that the summit will be held in two sessions. The first session will be hosted by the French Businessmen’s Association and will be on topics in the field of economy, with the participation of officials and businesspeople.

The second session will be held at the Arab World Institute, and issues related to the cultural and social sphere will be discussed. The summit will be the first international meeting of this level to be held in France after the Paris administration’s decision to ease local COVID-19 restrictions.

It is reported that the Paris Conference has three main goals. The first of these is the introduction of the “new Sudan” to the international community, after 30 years of Omar al-Bashir’s ruling over the country. The second goal is expected to encourage international companies to invest in Sudan. The third goal includes preparations to reduce the debt burden on Sudan.

France, the US, and the UK had made some promises to help Sudan’s debt issues. In this context, France promised to provide $1.4 billion to pay the remaining debt of Sudan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Likewise, the United States pledged to help Sudan pay off its debt to the World Bank, while the UK government pledged to back its debt to the African Development Bank.

In 1997, the US started to impose economic sanctions on Sudan, which was “blacklisted” on the grounds that it supported terrorist groups to welcome Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden between 1991 and 1996. In the following period, these sanctions were further aggravated after the attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

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