Khartoum hosts on Wednesday the 48th Ordinary Session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) foreign ministers.
The agenda covers safety and security in the IGAD countries, fighting drought and desertification, and settling conflicts among countries.
Sudan is currently in the chair of the group and it held a meeting at the level of experts ahead of the ministerial meeting.
IGAD was created in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) which was founded in 1986. It is composed of Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea.
Foreign Minister-designate Ali al-Sadiq said his country is keen on cooperating with all member states to activate and approve the set roadmap, which includes several issues in the field of agriculture, natural and environmental resources, reported Sudan's state news agency SUNA.
It will also tackle challenges related to climate change, drought and the specter of famine in the region, achieve food security and redistribute some IGAD centers in an equitable manner among the member states. I will also address addition to economic cooperation, regional integration, and social development.
Al-Sadiq added that the meetings would discuss Sudan’s initiative for regional and maritime transport among the IGAD countries, reinforcement of youths’ role, women empowerment, and the initiative of Sudan and South Sudan on refugees, displaced, and host communities.
“There is a need to strive to find non-traditional partners such as China, the Gulf countries, and Russia, bearing in mind that the 28 IGAD partners are mostly Western countries, and two organizations, the European Union and the Arab League,” he said.
“During its presidency, Sudan is seeking to find other partners. We do not want to rely on a certain party. We want to create a balance in our international relations between East and West,” he stressed.