Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

14 January 2013

Sudan: EU Official to Visit Khartoum, 'Deepen Relations' With Sudan

Khartoum — A European Union (EU) official is scheduled to travel to Khartoum, Sudan, for a two-day visit to the country's capital. The purpose of this trip is to discuss the possible ways to deepen the Euro-Sudanese relations.

Mr. Koen Vervaeke is the European Union's Director General of Horn of Africa, East, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean.

The director will visit Khartoum from 14 to 16 January where he will meet with Sudanese officials, politicians, civil society and think tanks, Radio Dabanga has learned.

Ambassador Tomas Ulicny, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sudan, expects the visit to bring a closer understanding of the EU to the situation in Sudan. This would help improve their relations "in the short and long terms".

"Constructive dialogue"

Ulincy pointed out that the director's visit comes one month after H.E. Gianni Pitella, vice-president of the European Parliament was in the country.

Pitella was in Sudan to "demonstrate the European Union's interest in constructive dialogue with the Sudanese government and people", Ulincy said.

While in the country, Pitella was received by the Sudanese minister of foreign affairs Mr. Ali Karti, who stressed that was an important opportunity for both parties to address bilateral issues and concerns to improve their relations.

On his turn, the vice-president of the EU parliament stated his visit would allow him to inform the European Parliament President and other members about the situation in Sudan. He stressed the country's geopolitical importance and its role in Africa and to peace in the region.

Tomas Ulincy confirmed the "commitment of the European Union to support a peaceful, stable and democratic Sudan".

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