French support for “new Sudan”


France’s foreign minister announced 60 million euros (£53.1 million) in aid for Sudan’s transitional authorities during a visit to Khartoum, while offering to help Sudan rebuild relations with international lenders and tackle foreign debt.

“We are in a new Sudan, a Sudan at a key moment in its history and France is at the side of this new Sudan,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters, paying tribute to peaceful protests that led to the ousting of former President Omar al-Bashir in April.

Le Drian spoke alongside his Sudanese counterpart Asmaa Abdallah, named in a government sworn in last week following a power-sharing deal between the military and civilian groups.

Talks on Monday focused on the new Sudanese government’s priorities, Le Drian said, including fixing an economic crisis that triggered the protests that led to Bashir’s overthrow.

“We decided to commit 60 million euros, including 15 million quickly, to help Sudan’s transformation and peaceful revolution,” he said.

“We would like to accompany Sudan on its path to full reintegration in the concert of nations and in the rapid conclusion of a peace agreement with all rebel movements.”

Le Drian said France would lobby European partners for Sudan to be removed from the US list of countries it considers state sponsors of terrorism.

The listing, dating back to Bashir’s three-decade rule, prevents Sudan from receiving financial aid from international lenders.

“The commitments made, the way the army understood its role during this period – all point in the direction of Sudan’s exit from this list.”

“We will help Sudan normalise relations with international financial institutions and advance the process that will allow it to obtain treatment for its foreign debt.”