Sudan peace talks enter a crucial stage

May 15, 2004 (Sudan Tribune)

The Sudanese peace talks today entered a very crucial stage after the joint committee of the two negotiating parties ended their deliberations on the controversial issues, the pro-governmental Al-Anba daily newspaper reported today.

After concluding their discussion, the joint committee today handed over their findings to the first vice-president, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and the chairman Sudan's People Liberation Movement John Garang,.

The US assistant secretary of State for African Affairs Charles Snyder, yesterday held talks with the government delegation led by the first vice-president and discussed the importance of the reaching a peace agreement in the shortest time possible.

According to a member of the government delegation, Amin Hasan Omar, who spoke to Al-Anba said that Charles Snyder listened to the briefing on the progress of the peace process. He said that Charles Snyder urged the two negotiating parties to reach an agreement on the controversial issues that were impeding the peace process, and pledged the USA's resolve to safeguard peace and as well as its commitment in providing assistance in the reconstruction of the country.

Regarding the possible time for signing the peace agreement, Omar said that there was no fixed time for signing the peace agreement, but added that there was a feeling that this would be a decisive week as far as the peace process is concerned.

Meanwhile, a member of the SPLM delegation, Edward Lino, said that SPLM was ready to sign the agreement, throwing the ball into the government's court.

Speaking to Al-Anba, he said that the SPLM was now ready to sign the peace agreement and all now depends on the Sudanese government since it is the only one that can fix a date for signing the peace agreement.

On the other hand, the Khartoum based Al-Sahafa daily newspaper said that government delegation rejects to concede any of the four sovereignty ministries which are Defence, Security, interior, Foreign affairs, to the SPLM in the transitional government.