Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrives in Sudan

Maas hopes country will seize historic chance and receive necessary international support

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visits Sudan after the country swore in a new prime minister and a civilian-majority ruling body to steer the nation through a three-year transitional period. AFP / Tobias SCHWARZ
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visits Sudan after the country swore in a new prime minister and a civilian-majority ruling body to steer the nation through a three-year transitional period. AFP / Tobias SCHWARZ

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday arrived in Sudan, which is beginning its transition from 30 years of autocratic rule under removed president Omar Al Bashir.

"Sudan stands at a turning point of its history," Mr Maas said before his visit.

He is expected to meet newly appointed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the head of Sudan's ruling body, Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, who will help to steer the country through its three-year transition to democratic elections.

Mr Maas said he was looking forward to talks with representatives from the protest movement "to express my highest appreciation to them".

"We want Sudan to be able to seize this historic chance and, after years of isolation, to receive the necessary support from the international community," he said.

Sudan's steps towards democracy are part a power-sharing deal signed on August 17 by an umbrella group that led months of protests against veteran leader Mr Al Bashir, and the generals who seized power after ousting him.

Sudan has long held pariah status, especially due to its listing by the US as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993.

The designation has damaged its economy and hampered foreign investment.

After his visit to Sudan, Mr Maas is due to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Updated: September 3, 2019 02:56 AM

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