Sudan and Syria pledged Thursday, May 31, to strengthen bilateral ties of friendship and fraternity and joint cooperation in all fields.
A joint communiqué signed marking the close of three days of discussions of the joint ministerial commission, denounced "aggressive and provocative" Israeli policies and expressed "firm" support for the Palestinian Intifada and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
It also called for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their former homes in what is now Israel and for dismantling the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights.
"A just and comprehensive peace can be achieved only upon implementation of the international legitimacy resolutions and full Israeli withdrawal from the GJolan Heights, the Palestinian territories and the remaining part of southern Lebanon," the communiqué read.
Sudan pledged support to Syria and Lebanon against "Israeli threats" and regarded any aggression on them as an aggression on "the entire Arab nation."
Syria expressed its support to Sudanese efforts for achieving peace, unity and reconciliation and hailed Sudanese "accomplishments" in the economic and political spheres "despite the war and international sanctions."
The two sides called for the lifting of sanctions on Iraq and Libya. They also called for bolstering Afro-Arab cooperation and for revitalizing common interests of the Arab and African countries. Sudan and Syria also called for establishment of an Arab free trade zone "as soon as possible."
The two sides concluded about 15 cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding in the political, economic, commercial, health, cultural and other fields in addition to an agreement for political cooperation and coordination between the two foreign ministries.
They agreed that the second session of the ministerial commission be held in Damascus next year. The Syrian side was led by Prime Minister Mohamed Mustafa Miro, while First Vice President Ali Osman Taha headed the Sudanese side. ― (AFP, Khartoum)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)