Sudanese delegates to the 25th France-Africa Summit are seeking French support for Sudan’s quest for debt cancellation and a number of political issues, including French support against the International Criminal Court.
Sudan has an accrued foreign debt of US$ 35.7 billion.
Sudan’s top official, Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin, said he had been holding a series of meetings with French officials on a wide range of subjects, including disagreements between Sudan and France and the pending ICC arrest warrant against President Omer el-Bashir.
Salahuddin, a senior aide to President el-Bashir, said he met a number of French officials on the sidelines of the ongoing meeting between French and African leaders to explain the changes currently underway in the Sudan, following the elections in April.
He said the two sides agreed to continue talks on the pending issues until the disagreements are ironed out, according to state-run Sudan News Agency (SUNA).
Bashir has been on the international spotlight following the issuance of an international arrest warrant against him.
On Tuesday, the Sudanese officials said they were to hold a joint three-party meeting with the United Nations and the African Union to discuss further peace efforts in Sudan.
The Sudanese officials have put up a high-level diplomatic campaign to have the French support for debt cancellation, arguing that Sudan’s high debt burden was constraining efforts to develop war-ravaged Darfur.
Sudanese officials, in Nice, France, for the 25th French-Africa Summit, said they were also lobbying French for support on Sudan’s quest for debt cancellation.
“Sudan has met all the technical conditions for writing off its debts but the super countries, are linking this issue to political matters,” said Lual Deng, also in the high-level Sudanese delegation attending the summit.
Lual, the immediate former State Minister of Finance, said Sudan’s huge foreign debt has made it impossible for Khartoum to effectively develop South Sudan and Darfur.
He said Sudan wanted the issue of debts, amounting to US$ 35 billion, to be cancelled.
Sudanese officials say the original debt was US$ 15 billion but has reached the current amount due to interests.