Interview: Sudan Presidential Aide Reiterates Importance of Belt and Road Initiative

Sudan knows well the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative in enhancing common development for all countries, Sudanese presidential assistant told Xinhua in an interview on Sunday.

“This great initiative constitutes a suitable framework to enhance common development among all countries under the initiative,” said Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz, also an official in charge of maintaining China-Sudan relations.

“The Belt and Road Initiative constitutes the peak of the social responsibility for the Chinese leadership and its sincere willingness to exchange benefits with the world and achieve common development. The initiative is a model for the collective thinking to work to achieve the literal meaning of the term ‘participation’,” he added.

“In Sudan, we have pioneering experience in economic, commercial and political cooperation with China. For decades, China has proved itself as a trustful and credible friend, with a spirit of cooperation.”

The official stressed his country’s willingness to play a key role in making the Belt and Road Initiative successful, and to use its potential and resources to achieve the basic principles of the initiative.

“Sudan enjoys a geographical location that makes it a linking ring between the Arab world and Africa, where historically, Sudan’s eastern ports represented the meeting point of the commercial convoys coming from China towards Africa,” said Al-Jaz.

He further noted that Sudan is planning to establish a free trade zone in the east area to be a major point for the emerging trade lines under the Belt and Road Initiative. Al-Jaz, meanwhile, commended the speech of Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered Sunday at the the opening of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, and his confirmations that China would not intervene in the internal affairs of other countries.

To this end, Al-Jaz said, “From our cooperation experience with China, we are aware of the seriousness of these confirmations. What characterized our cooperation with China is China’s non-intervention in our internal affairs. This principle has always remained standing.”

He reiterated the importance for the countries involved in the initiative to find a peaceful environment that avails the realization of the over-all objectives of the initiative.

Commenting on what Xi said in his speech that “the Belt and Road should be built into a belt and road for peace,” the Sudanese official reiterated the importance of a peaceful and stable environment for the Belt and Road countries.

“Today the world needs peace. It needs to enhance the spirit of partnership, cooperation and mutual benefits. What we need now are innovative initiatives that enhance interconnection instead disharmony, favor peace over war and enhance sharing of values instead of conflict among those values,” he said.

Xi delivered Sunday a keynote speech at the opening of the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, saying that “the ancient silk routes thrived in times of peace, but lost vigor in times of war. The pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative requires a peaceful and stable environment.”

“We should foster a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation; and we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance,” Xi said.

The Belt and Road Forum, the highest-level international meeting since Xi proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, gathers 29 foreign heads of state and government leaders as well as delegates from some 130 countries.

The Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes over land and sea. Since 2013, China has invested over 50 billion U.S dollars in railway, road and ports sectors in many countries.

So far, the initiative has won support from more than 100 countries and international organizations, of which over 40 have signed cooperation agreements with China.

Source: Xinhua