Qatar said it hope such a step would pave the way toward a permanent ceasefire.
Qatar has welcomed a major development in the ongoing Sudan conflict that confirms the steps for initial talks between representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Jeddah.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar said it hopes such a step would pave the way toward a permanent and comprehensive cessation of hostilities in Sudan.
“The State of Qatar welcomes the joint statement issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America to start preliminary talks between representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in the city of Jeddah,” it read.
The statement went on to call for broad negotiations that would involve all Sudanese political forces, with the aim of reaching a comprehensive agreement and sustainable peace that would benefit the Sudanese people.
The Gulf nation has also emphasised its commitment to stability, development, and prosperity in Sudan, and urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint and seek peaceful solutions to the conflict.
“This will also help to engage in broad negotiations in which all Sudanese political forces participate in order to reach a comprehensive agreement and sustainable peace that fulfills the aspirations of the brotherly Sudanese people in stability, development and prosperity,” the statement added.
The ministry reiterated its call for an immediate halt to the fighting in Sudan, focusing on protecting civilians and facilitating the flow of humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasised prioritising the public interest and using the voice of reason to resolve the crisis.
On Friday, envoys from two Sudanese military factions led by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo were sent to Saudi Arabia for talks aimed at solidifying a fragile cease-fire after weeks of intense fighting that has led to hundreds of deaths and pushed the country to the brink of collapse.
The talks, set to take place in the coastal city of Jeddah, mark the first negotiations between the two sides since clashes erupted on April 15.
Sources reported to Associated Press that the talks were prompted by concerted efforts from Riyadh and other international powers to pressure the warring factions in Sudan to come to the negotiating table.
While the identities of the sources remain anonymous, they include two high-ranking military officials and one individual from the paramilitary opposition.
Although no timeframe was given for the talks, the international community has expressed cautious optimism about the negotiations, which represent a vital first step in restoring peace and stability to Sudan.
‘No incentive for peace’
The talks in Jeddah come at a critical time for Sudan, which has been grappling with a years-long political turmoil that has in recent weeks sparked some of the worst violence in decades.
Shelling and crossfire between the conflicting parties has forced thousands of civilians to flee for safety, many of whom have headed for the borders in a desperate bid to flee the country. Global efforts have shifted away from the capital and set up evacuation operations in Port Sudan.
At least 550 people have been killed in the ongoing battle for power between the two parties.
Qatar’s statement underscores the international community’s desire for a peaceful and stable resolution to the conflict and its commitment to supporting the Sudanese people.
On Thursday, US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said the fighting is likely to continue as neither party has an incentive to stop.
“The fighting in Sudan between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is, we assess, likely to be protracted as both sides believe that they can win militarily and have few incentives to come to the negotiating table,” Haines told a US Senate hearing on Thursday.
“Both sides are seeking external sources of support, which, if successful, is likely to intensify the conflict and create a greater potential for spillover challenges in the region,” she said.
Qatar evacuates dozens
Over the weekend, Doha News travelled with the Amiri Air Force as it launched its first of a number of evacuation flights from the conflict-stricken country.
A flight loaded with some 50 tonnes of aid landed in Port Sudan on Friday before taking on around 170 people that were stranded in Sudan, marking Qatar’s first such operation since violence erupted in the country.
Residents of Qatar as well as citizens of “friendly nations” were transported onboard an Amiri air force aircraft that landed in Port Sudan on Friday evening.
The following day, a second aircraft evacuated 61 more people as part of an air bridge operation to provide humanitarian assistance and essential supplies to the African nation.
The delivery of aid is being facilitated by Qatar Charity, Qatar Red Crescent Society, and the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).