By: Mohammed Osman
Khartoum, Sudan (Sudanow) - President Omar Al Bashir on Sunday said his Sudan would never normalize relations with Israel even if that would be the price for improving the economic situation of his country, as, he argued, this was a question of principle and ethics.
He said he has received advice from "American friends" that to better the economic situation of his country and to be recipient of international economic assistance, he has to normalize relations with Israel. He said he rejected this.
"We will never normalize relations with Israel whatever be the price," President Bashir said in a press briefing on Sunday to talk about economic reform programme he plans to implement, including lifting subsidy from fuel.
Addressing a late press briefing Sudanese President Al-Bashir has described a planned lifting of fuel subsidies as an inevitable surgical operation needed for restoration of the Sudanese economic stability.
Bashir said the lifting of the fuel subsidies is part of an economic reforms programme in which officials, university staff and other economists took part and is aimed at reaching sustainable economic stability.
He said the cut subsidy will be redistributed to the right avenues, including salaries and wages, production, students, bridging the budget deficit and the poor.
President Bashir has belittled chances of an Arab spring in the Sudan, though, he said, he expects some "tyre burning and rioting" as a result of the economic measures he is planning to implement.
He argued that each gallon of fuel receives 19 Sudanese pounds (two US dollars at the black market rate of exchange) and that this goes directly to those who use more and more benzene at the expense of the poor. But he said the lifting of subsidies would be gradual and at each step the outcome would be assessed, stressing that it would not be an all out lifting of subsidies as some people feared.
He said the world is presently experiencing recession and any country which experiences such conditions that require a surgical operation should not delay the operation, otherwise the cost would be high.
"Without the economic reform the whole country would collapse" President Al Bashir said.
He said he would attend the UN General Assembly meetings, braving threats that he might be arrested and handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
President, Al Bashir, told the late evening press briefing Sunday, that he would attend the UN general assembly meeting in New York and that it was his country's due right.
He said there was no law in the United States according to which he would be "arrested and taken to The Hague.", adding that booking for his delegation in New York was completed and the route of his plane was decided, via Morocco and the ocean to the United States.
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