Sudan Wants Better Ties with US\'s Bush
Sudan has officially expressed its desire to open avenues of dialogue to improve relations with the new US administration, Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail told reporters Friday.
Ismail said a message for US Secretary of State Colin Powell was handed to US charge d'affaires in Khartoum Raymond Brown earlier this week proposing to "open a new page with Washington based on transparency and impartiality."
He said he had explained in the message Sudan's "reservations towards the hostile attitudes" of the previous US administrations which bombed a pharmaceutical plant in North Khartoum in 1988.
The message also explained Khartoum's views on peace, human rights, relations with neighboring states and terrorism, said Ismail, adding that he had asked the new administration of George W. Bush to listen to those viewpoints before determining its policy towards Sudan.
US forces, under the previous administration of president Bill Clinton, destroyed a pharmaceutical plant near Khartoum with cruise missiles, claiming it was producing chemical weapons for Islamic militants linked to US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
In December, US diplomat Glenn Warren was expelled from Sudan after meeting opposition leaders accused of plotting a US-backed uprising.
Diplomats had only returned to work at the US embassy in Khartoum in April last year after staff were evacuated following the August 1998 bombings of two US embassies in east Africa.
Ismail said he had shown in his message to Powell his government's willingness to "listen and reply to all US reservations, through dialogue, for surmounting the controversial issues."
He added that he had told Powell that, after the differences are resolved, his government would "welcome any positive role by Washington for pushing ahead the peace process in Sudan." -- KHARTOUM (AFP)
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