Following the Urgent Question on the arrest of the Sudanese Prime Minister, Andrew Mitchell calls for any plans on debt relief schemes with Sudan to be put on hold until a lawful regime is put in place and for the Government to consider sanctions, including the Magnitsky sanctions, against those who have illegally taken over Sudan.
The whole House will want to thank my hon. Friend for what is, I think, her first reply to an urgent question in this role and for the robust nature of it.
This is a dreadful setback for the people of Sudan and a horrific reminder to so many on both sides of the House of the awful days of the genocide—as George Bush described it—in Darfur and the international pariah military regime of General al-Bashir. There will be concern that this could not have taken place without at least the passive acquiescence of the Saudis. Can my hon. Friend reassure the House that all discussion about the forgiveness of £600 million of Sudanese debt under debt relief schemes will now be put on hold until the military return to barracks and a lawful regime is put in place? Will she consider all sanctions, including the Magnitsky sanctions, being deployed against these international criminals who have illegally taken over Sudan?
I thank my right hon. Friend for his very kind words. As ever, he is deeply thoughtful on these matters. I agree that this is a totally unacceptable betrayal of the people of Sudan who have stood up for their democracy and freedom.
Regarding the debt clearance, the UK used our G7 presidency to agree an ambitious financing package to clear Sudan’s arrears with G7 Finance Ministers and other international partners on the IMF board. It was a really important part of that pathway towards democracy and a stronger economy. As I have said, we will consider the impacts of today’s events on our support, including with key international financial institution partners.