|Beacon: A typical mosque in Khartoum, Sudan's capital city. — Photo courtesy of Sudan's Embassy
On the occasion of Sudan's National Day on January 1, Sudanese Ambassador Sayed Altayeb Ahmed reflects on his nation's situation.
On the first of January every year, Suda-nese celebrate their Independence Day. Freedom was achieved in 1956 after a long and painstaking struggle led by leaders who made great sacrifices for the cause.
This year, the commemoration of our Independence Day takes place at a time when the world at large and the region in particular are witnessing a number of political and economic challenges and changes. Sudan is not exception.
The country has witnessed important developments this year, notably the tireless efforts to normalize and enhance its relationship with the Republic of South Sudan. Summits and high level meetings between the two States were held and agreements reached to implement the Cooperation Agreement signed on 27 September 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Government of Sudan is committed to resolving all outstanding issues with the Republic of South Sudan in good faith, in close cooperation with the Government of South Sudan, the African Union, the Arab League, the UN and all peace loving and friendly countries.
Regarding the issue of Darfur, numerous positive steps have been taken in 2013, including but not limited to some factions joining the Doha peace process. Moreover, the building of the structure of the Regional Authority in Darfur has been completed and is now functioning.
This year has seen great strides made in the development of bilateral relations between Viet Nam and Sudan. A number of official exchange visits have been held involving ministries and other agencies. These include the Viet Nam visit by Sudan's Minister of Communication, and a visit by a high level delegation headed by Viet Nam's Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry to Sudan.
Landmark events in the growth of bilateral ties this year include the signing of a protocol to establish the Joint Governmental Commission (JGC) in Ha Noi on the sidelines of an economic forum on "Viet Nam – Middle East and North Africa Partners" held here ; as also a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Viet Nam's Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and Sudan's Ministry of Human Resources Development and Labour in Sudan.
In the third quarter of the year, several Sudanese business delegations have visited Viet Nam.
The Vietnamese Government's decision to open an Honorary Consulate in Khartoum will definitely cement and further the relationship between the two countries. The next task is 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.
Besides what has been mentioned above, the two countries continued their cooperation in agriculture and oil sectors in 2013. Sudanese authorities have consistently appreciated benefiting from Vietnamese technical and practical expertise, and we think the coming year will see a strengthening of co-operation, especially in the agricultural sector.
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 wish that the relationship between Viet Nam and Sudan is furthern enhanced in all fields of co-operation. — VNS