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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Bashir to address Arab summit on the future of Sudan

The second Arab Economic Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh could be one of the last times Omar Al-Bashir will speak for all the Sudanese -- both northern and southern

Dina Ezzat , Monday 17 Jan 2011
Omar Al-Bashir
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

"We are expecting Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to take part in the summit and to share with Arab leaders his impressions on the recent referendum South Sudan’s independence and his reading of the future," said Samir Hosni, Director of the Sudan/Africa Bureau at the Arab League.

Hosni was referring to the participation of Bashir in the second Arab Economic Summit scheduled to commence in Sharm El-Sheikh on Wednesday.

This might be one of the last times that Bashir will speak on behalf of both northern and southern Sudanese, as the results of the week-long referendum -- on the separation of the Africa’s largest country -- are to be announced mid-February.

"Still, today and until the results are announced, Sudan remains a united country and a member of the Arab League; the summit is going to decide support for Sudan -- as such but also with an eye on the possible results of the referendum," Hosni said.

Arab support for Sudan should consequently address the economic needs of all Sudanese people until the end of the transition period -- between the current unified state and the expected separation in July of this year. It should also attend to a possible formula for cooperation between North and South Sudan, within the Arab framework and within the context of possible independence for the south.

"There is also the political support that will be designed to promote the chances of peaceful neighbourly relations between the north and south," Hosni clarified.

This political assistance, Hosni explained, should include the help of the Arab organisation to help the north and south leaders to find solutions for "all or most of the pending issues" -- including the demarcation of borders, the division of water and other natural resources and the honouring of national debts.

Moreover, the Arab League official stated that members of the Sharm El-Sheikh summit will express their support for and backing of the results of the referendum – as it is the democratic will of the southern Sudanese -- which started on 9 January and ended on Saturday, 16 January.

Hosni had been at the head of a delegation of observers sent by the Arab League to monitor the operation of the referendum at the polling stations both in the north and south of Sudan.

"It is our assessment that the referendum was conducted, by and large, in line with the regulations of transparency and independence," he said.

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