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NEWS & VIEWS



JOINT STATEMENT



1. At the invitation of H.E. President Oman Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, H.E. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Klam, President of the Republic of India, accompanied by a high-level delegation, paid a state visit to the Sudan during 20th to 22nd, October 2003. H.E. the President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was warmly received by the Sudanese leadership and people, who described his visit as historic and a reaffirmation of the centuries-old and time-tested relations between the two countries and their peoples.

2. During the visit, H.E. President Abdul Kalam held discussions with H.E. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir. He also received in separate meetings, their Excellencies Professor Moses Macar, Vice-President of the Republic of the Sudan, Sayed / Abdalla Ahmed Alhardalo, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Awad Ahmed Al-Jazz, Minister of Energy and Mining, H.E.President Abdul Kalam addressed the National Assembly and visited educational, cultural and economic sites of importance and interacted with the Indian Community in Sudan as well as with the Sudanese Alumni of Indian Universities.

3. During the visit of H.E. Dr. Abdul Kalam, and in the presence of the two Presidents the following agreements were signed :-

a) Bilateral Agreement on the promotion and Protection of investment.

b) Agreement on the avoidance of double Taxation.

c) A Memorandum of Undertaking on Co-operation in Communications and Information Technology.

4. Relations between Sudan and India have always been cordial and friendly. The two sides reiterated that the Indo-Sudanese relations were characterized by deep and abiding bonds based on friendship, culture and a shared civilizational heritage. They affirmed their vision for closer and stronger relationship between the two countries and stressed that the traditional and historical ties between India and Sudan should be further strengthened and expanded.

5. The two sides discussed a wide range of important bilateral relations, and exchanged views on various regional and international issues of mutual concern.

6. India and Sudan expressed their satisfaction with the recent impressive evolution of their bilateral relations. Both sides expressed satisfaction that the strategic partnership between the two countries in the oil sector has taken shape with the landmark entry of the Indian ONGC-OVL into the GNPOC. Both sides underscored the need for further Indian involvement in the oil and energy sectors and related industries. In this connection, the two sides also took note of the fact that the Sudanese Ministry of Energy and Mining agreed to offer the project of Portsudan oil refinery expansion and the project of Khartoum- Portsudan petroleum products pipeline to ONGC-OVL. In view of their good performance and excellent relationship existing between them and expressed their hope that these contracts be signed expeditiously.

7. Both sides recognized the potential of increased flow of investment between the two countries. They expressed their conviction that there is considerable untapped potential in major sectors including, information technology, agriculture, food security and agro-processing, small-scale industries, human resource development, science and technology and pharmaceuticals. To that end, the two sides reiterated their commitment to further enhance and increase the scope of their economic, investment, trade and cultural exchanges. They noted also, in this regard, that the 2nd Session of the Joint Business Council would be held in New Delhi next November 2003.

8. Both sides felt the need to strengthen existing institutional mechanisms to cope with their expanding bilateral relations. In this connection, the two sides expressed the hope that the forthcoming meeting of the Joint Commission in New Delhi co-chaired by the two Foreign Ministers will give added dynamism commensurate with the aspirations and interests of their respective peoples. In this context, India extended an EXIM Bank Line of credit of US$ 50 million to contribute to the economic development of Sudan. India also announced a grant of US$ 50,000 worth of Indian medicines to meet the humanitarian requirements of victims of recent floods in Kassala region of Sudan.

9. The Sudanese side briefed its Indian counterpart on the positive and far-reaching developments in the peace process in the Sudan including the recently signed Agreement on Security Arrangements, which represented its commitment to lasting peace and stability. The Indian side reiterated its position in support of Sudan's unity and territorial integrity. The two sides affirmed that both India and Sudan were multi-religious and multi-ethnic societies committed to pluralism, harmonious co-existence and the concept of unity in diversity. The Sudanese side called upon the Indian counterpart to share and participate in the consolidation of peace and in the reconstruction efforts in the various parts of the country. Indian side promised to do everything possible.

10. The two sides exchanged views on India's vision as a developed country by 2020 and Sudan's 25 years strategic plan for development. Both commended the on-going efforts to realize those lofty goals and need to share experiences and insights.

11. On the situation in Africa, the two sides expressed satisfaction over the positive developments in the continent represented by the establishment of the African Union, with NEPAD as its economic arm. The Sudanese side expressed its appreciation of India's commitment to work closely with Africa in the context of NEPAD, pursuant to the traditional ties of co-operation and solidarity that have always characterized Indo-African relations and appreciated, to that end, the recently launched "Focus Africa Programme" by the Government of India aimed at enhancement of those historic ties.

12. On the situation in the Middle East, the two sides called for an early establishment of a Palestinian State in accordance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions so as to end the Israeli occupation.

13. Sudan welcomed the invitative taken by the Prime Minister of India aimed at fostering friendship and good - neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan, and supports resolution of India-Pakistan issues through dialogue and peaceful means.

14. On the developments in the international scene, both Sudan and India share the conviction that the emerging world order should be just, equitable, multi-polar and built on the principles of democracy, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of states and the peaceful settlement of disputes. They share the imperative of a comprehensive reform of the UN system including an expanded security council to make it more representative and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the developing countries. In this context Sudan supported India's candidature to a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. Both sides agreed to closely coordinate positions in the international fora.

15. The two sides in line with their commitment to the UNSC Resolution 1373 affirmed their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They reaffirmed their conviction that terrorism knows no religion or geographical boundaries and stressed the need to combat this global menace.

16. The two sides reaffirmed their faith in the Non-alligned movement and stressed the importance of its revitalization to address global issues such as poverty, alleviation, sustainable development, food security, as well as issues of international peace and security. The two sides hailed the position taken by developing countries during the recently concluded WTO Ministerial meeting in Cancun.

17. Sudan and India strongly believe that the state visit of H.E. President Abdul Kalam to Sudan will undoubtedly consolidate further and expand the framework of bilateral co-operation in all fields. They both agreed on the importance of increasing the frequency of bilateral visits at all levels including by dignitaries, ministers, officials, experts as well as the people-to-people contacts.

18. H.E. President Abdul Kalam, on behalf of the Indian delegation and on his own behalf, expressed deepest thanks and appreciation to the Sudanese Government and people for the warm welcome ad generous hospitality extended throughout their stay in the Republic of the Sudan 19. H.E. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of the Republic of India invited H.E. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir president of the Republic of the Sudan to visit India.

20. H.E. President Al-Bashir accepted, with pleasure, the kind invitation, the date of which will be decided through diplomatic channels.

Khartoum, Sudan
22nd October 2003

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