SECRETARY BLINKEN: Good afternoon, everyone. It’s great to be here with my friend and colleague, Foreign Secretary Cleverly. We have been consulting very closely on the situation in Sudan. We’ve also been in close touch with partners in the Arab world, in Africa, in international organizations. There is a shared deep concern about the fighting, the violence that’s going on in Sudan; the threat that that poses to civilians, that it poses to the Sudanese nation, and potentially poses even to the region.
There is also a very strongly shared view about the need for Generals Burhan and Hemeti to ensure the protection of civilians and noncombatants as well as people from third countries, including our personnel who are located in Sudan; and also a strongly held view – again, across all of our partners – on the need for an immediate ceasefire and a return to talks, talks that were very promising in putting Sudan on the path to a full transition to civilian-led government.
People in Sudan want the military back in the barracks. They want democracy. They want civilian-led government. Sudan needs to return to that path.
For our part, we’ve also been closely in touch, of course, with our own embassy to make sure that our personnel is safe and accounted for, which is the case. And we’re also closely in touch with any American citizens in Sudan to make sure that those who are registered with the embassy and that we’re actually in contact with get all the information they can about how to remain safe and secure.
FOREIGN SECRETARY CLEVERLY: Secretary Blinken, thank you. Obviously, early on today we have had discussions about the situation in Sudan. We have – the UK has been in contact with our friends in the Arab region and we’ll continue to do so. But I echo the points that have been made already by Secretary Blinken that we call upon an immediate cessation of violence, a return to the talks, talks which seem to be heading in the direction of civilian government, and of course, that is the ultimate desired outcome. And we will continue working both with our close friend, the United States of America, and our friends in Africa and the wider Arab world to bring about that move towards peace and a civilian democracy.
Obviously, from the UK’s Government point of view, our first priority is the protection of British nationals. We have previously changed travel advice and advised against travel to Sudan. I’ve ensured that the British officials at the embassy in Khartoum are safe and accounted for, and we will continue to provide what support we can to British nationals in Sudan.
But ultimately, the immediate future lies in the hands of the generals who are engaged in this fight, and we call upon them to put peace first, to bring an end to the fighting, to get back to negotiations. That’s what the people of Sudan want, that’s what the people of Sudan deserve, and we will continue to seek ways to support that road back to peace.