A Sudanese official called for continued Belgian humanitarian aid to his country during talks Sunday, November 4 with Belgium's state secretary for international cooperation Eddy Boutmans.
Boutmans' Sudanese counterpart, Kerem Eddin Salih told reporters he discussed "humanitarian assistance being offered to Sudan by Belgium through the European Union (EU) and through UNICEF." On his one-day visit to Sudan, Boutmans also met with Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail and Animal Resources Minister Riek Gai.
Salih said he had invited Boutmans to pay a visit to southern Sudan to see for himself the falsehood of alleged slavery practices there. Gai said he had discussed with the visitor the need for a swift delivery of relief supplies to the needy people in southern Sudan.
He also called for a ceasefire to facilitate vaccination of children against polio, especially in rebel-held areas. For his part, Ismail said he had discussed with Boutmans: the countries' bilateral relations, the issue of peace in Sudan, EU developmental assistance to Sudan as well as the Sudan-EU dialogue. He said he had suggested that a Belgian embassy be established in Khartoum so that Belgium could follow up the situation in Sudan.
Sudan has been mired in an 18-year civil war, between the ruling Muslim Arab north and largely Christian and animist south. — (AFP, Khartoum)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )