Speech of the Ambassador
Excellencies, Ambassadors and members of the Diplomatic Corps
Dear Sudanese and foreign friends, countrymen and countrywomen,
It is a great pleasure for my wife and I, as well as the Embassy’s staff, to celebrate with you tonight the anniversary of the French revolution, which stress the important values of Human rights, Equality and Fraternity since 1789. You, of course, are familiar with the manifestation of these values all over the world.
5 days ago, Sudan entered a decisive year, the last year of the interim period as foreseen in the CPA. It is the wish of France that Sudan will approach this crucial moment of its history in a peaceful way, respecting its differences and the choices of its people whatever they may be. It is of utmost importance that the people of Sudan benefit from development, peace and security.
France and Sudan have worked together to achieve peace and security. France has expressed this hope to Vice President Ali Othman Taha who represented Sudan in the Africa-France Summit in Nice on May 30. Also, our dialogue continues through political consultations between France and Sudan in Paris after August ; and this will be an opportunity to assess and further develop our relations.
Much needs to be done until the referendum and the implementation of its result. The launch of the negociations on post referendum arrangements, in Khartoum, on July 10th, is an encouraging step. There is also an urgent need to form the Abyei referendum commission.
AS France wishes development, peace and security for the whole of Sudan : in Darfur particularly, France has supported the Doha peace process since its inception. Nevertheless, the Doha process has not yet resulted in a peace agreement and the insecurity in Darfur is worsening. Therefore, we call on all Sudanese parties to sit at the negotiation table keeping a spirit of compromise that is highly needed to reach peace.
The Friendship that bounds France to Sudan manifests itself by a constant support to Sudan to overcome its difficulties in many ways. For example
Our contribution to Humanitarian aid and our participation in the budget of Peace keeping missions in Sudan has reached 230 millions euros in 2009.
In this respect, I would like to salute the men and women working in these operations who have payed a heavy tribute while 22 of them have been kept hostages, sometimes for a very long period of time. 6 French citizens were among those hostages. Currently a US and 2 German nationals are still being held and we strongly wish that they will be freed quickly. I would also like to honour the memory of those peacekeepers who have lost their lives in Darfur, together with many Sudanese victims of the unfortunate ongoing conflicts in Sudan.
Moreover, our friendship with Sudan is embodided in an active, diverse and mutually profitable co-operation. A genuine co-operation enabling all parties to share in the decisions, costs and advantages. Our companies work in trade and investments. The participation of 7 Sudanese Businessmen and women in the Afrique-France Summit in Nice has illustrated our will to foster business links between France and Sudan. Also, our universities and research centers have engaged in the cultural field. For example, the exchange of professors between our two countries, as well as providing schorlarships for the training of Sudanese professionals. The recent visits in France of both the Vice-Chancelors of the Universities of Khartoum and the Red Sea have opened prospects in new scientific fields for our co-operation : agronomy and medecine.
Finally, We are very pleased to present to you tonight two vibrant examples of this co-operation : the exhibition of Sudanese antiquities in the Louvre Museum in Paris, from March 27 to September 6. This exhibition has proved to be a success demonstrating the interest in Sudan by the French people. Also as many Sudanese have taken interest in the French culture and language, I would like to present a group of Sudanese students of French language who have accepted to sing for us tonight. Please welcome and applaude them.
Long live the friendship between France and Sudan.