|On the rise: A view of Khartoum – the capital of Sudan, and the As Sayed Ali mosque. — Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Sudan
On January 1 every year, Sudanese in the homeland and abroad celebrate their Independence Day.
Freedom was achieved in 1956 after 60 years of colonial rule. The struggle against the colonial powers was led by leaders and masses that made great sacrifices for the noble cause. They were inspired in part by the teachings of late President Ho Chi Minh: "Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty".
This year, the commemoration of our Independence Day takes place at a time when the world at large and the region in particular is witnessing a number of political and economic challenges and changes, and Sudan is no exception.
The country witnessed important developments last year, including the ongoing process of the National Dialogue initiated by President of the Republic Omer Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir to encompass all political parties and forces including civil society. In addition, the negotiations with rebel factions continued in the framework of the Doha process in order to achieve a lasting peace in Darfur. This process has been conducted in close co-operation with the African Union, the Arab League, the UN and all peace loving and friendly countries.
The year 2015 has witnessed great strides in the development and enhancement of bilateral relations between the Republic of Sudan and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. A number of official visits took place last year involving ministers and other officials. Those include the visit by Sudan's National Assembly Speaker who participated in the 132nd Assembly of the International Union of Parliaments in Ha Noi in March 2015, and held audiences with President Truong Tan Sang and Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung.
The Embassy strives to expand and deepen bilateral relations in all fields, especially commerce and culture. We believe that without people to people contacts, bilateral relations cannot flourish. Several Sudanese businessmen visited Viet Nam last year and the number is on the rise. The year also witnessed the signing of the agreement on the Abolition of Visa Requirements for holders of Diplomatic, Official or Special Passports between the Republic of the Sudan and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in Ha Noi in March 2015. The agreement will facilitate the movement of officials between the two countries.
Other three agreements have already been concluded and are awaiting final signatures: Avoidance of Double Taxation, Co-operation in Culture and Encouragement and Protection of Investments, in addition to the MoU between the two central banks, and the MoU on co-operation between the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Viet Nam and the Ministry of Industry in Sudan.
|Bridging divide: Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir (centre) and his aides at the opening ceremony of a bridge north of Khartoum. — AFP Photo
The Embassy is also looking to boost co-operation in the field of education and is working with authorities in Viet Nam and Sudan to grant scholarships for Vietnamese students to study Arabic in Sudan in addition to two scholarships in the field of eye treatment for three years in Khartoum.
We are working closely with the Ministry of Education and Training in Viet Nam and the Ministry of Higher Education in Sudan to expedite the process of the five scholarships granted by Viet Nam for Sudanese undergraduate studies in Vietnamese universities.
The two countries continued their co-operation in agriculture and oil sectors in 2015.
On the political and diplomatic front, the two countries enjoy a good relationship, and Sudanese authorities have consistently appreciated benefiting from Vietnamese technical and practical expertise. We are confident that next year will see a strengthening of co-operation, especially in the agricultural sector.
In 2016, the 5th Round of the Political Consultations between the two countries will be held in Khartoum in the first quarter of the year, while the second meeting of the Government Joint Commission (GJC) will be held in Ha Noi in the second quarter of 2016.
Lastly, I would like to extend my best wishes to both Vietnamese and Sudanese people, especially those who live here in Viet Nam, for a pleasant and prosperous year full of happiness, heath and wealth. For the New Year, I hope the relationship between Viet Nam and Sudan will be enhanced in all fields of co-operation. — VNS