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Sudan Prepares to Hold Talks over Resolving Foreign Debt

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and General Salva Kiir (L), first vice-president of Sudan and governor of Southern Sudan, is seen at the presidential palace in Khartoum [ February 7, 2011]

A prominent member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) says a delegation representing both of Sudan's Northern and Southern government will soon hold talks in Washington with officials of international financial institutions.

Rabie Abdelati Obeid says at issue is how to handle Sudan’s foreign debt after the country splits into two.

“They will discuss how this foreign debt will be distributed and the international community and donors’ promise to exempt some of this debt,” he says.

The Sudanese official says international donors have yet to honor their pledge of taking over Sudan’s foreign debt. Resolving the foreign debt, he says, will help hasten implementation of the remaining issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

“That the rest of the debt be distributed between the Southern government and Northern government is one of the issues of the CPA, and one of the outstanding points between the SPLM [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] and the NCP,” Obeid says.

Recently, President Barack Obama appointed Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman as the new U.S special Envoy to Sudan.

Obeid expresses hope Ambassador Lyman’s appointment will improve relations between Washington and Khartoum.

“Since his arrival to Sudan, he is now working very hard with the Sudan government to facilitate all these steps. We hope that this new envoy will be more successful,” he says.

The Sudanese official says Lyman is involved, among other things, in the peace process for Darfur. He says he hopes the new envoy will facilitate the lifting of the sanctions imposed on Sudan.

The Sudanese delegation will meet with financial officials and donor representatives here in Washington where the World Bank and International Monetary Fund hold their annual meeting this week.