Remarks of President Reagan and President Gaafar Mohamed Nimeiri of the Sudan Following Their Meetings

November 21, 1983

President Reagan. It's been an honor and a pleasure to welcome President Nimeiri to Washington once again. President Nimeiri is a friend. Few can match his courage and foresight as a peacemaker in Africa and in the Middle East. I place great value on his insights and wise counsel and appreciate this opportunity to speak with him directly.

In our discussions, we found ourselves in basic agreement on critical issues in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. President Nimeiri and I reviewed efforts to find a solution to the conflict in Chad. We're agreed that the first step necessary to achieve that end is the withdrawal of Libyan forces from Chad. Likewise, we're of one mind on the need to support African countries threatened by Libyan-supported aggression.

We also discussed the urgent need to reach a just and comprehensive peace for the Middle East. A key to this is a settlement that would permit all states in the region to live in peace with secure borders, while at the same time protecting the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. I thanked President Nimeiri for his continued support of our current peace initiative.

On bilateral issues, I reaffirmed our willingness to help the Sudan meet the economic and military challenges that it faces. We applaud the Sudan's efforts to reinvigorate its private sector and reform governmental policies that hinder economic progress. Economic development is of utmost importance to the people of the Sudan. And in this endeavor, the United States is happy to lend a hand to a friend.

President Nimeiri's visit underlines the significant role that Sudan is playing in Africa and the Middle East. The people of America are proud to stand with the people of the Sudan as friends and partners for peace and progress.

President Nimeiri. I would like to thank President Reagan for his invitation to me to come to visit once again the United States. And I would like to say to him that we are very pleased by our friendship to the people of the United States.

President Reagan and myself have discussed bilateral relations between our two countries and reviewed ways and means to further strengthen them. We are hoping that the important role played by the United States towards refugees will continue and expand at a time where we in the Sudan face and cater to ever-increasing numbers from our neighboring countries, especially Ethiopia.

In Africa, we have been -- and still are -- very concerned about the destabilization policies represented by Libya and its intervention in the internal affairs of others. Libya is undermining the unity of Chad by invading and occupying its territory and plotting against the unity and stability of the Sudan. Ethiopia and Libya are both playing a very dangerous role and executing policies serving the interests of a superior power.

In the Middle East, the Sudan is fully committed to a just solution to the Palestinian problem. In this context, the Sudan stands firm behind the Fez resolution. And it also supported the Reagan initiative as a step towards a more comprehensive solution. We deplore and regret the continued bloodshed in Lebanon and call on all parties to save Lebanon and its independence. We also condemn all policies and practices aimed at liquidating the PLO and deplore the shedding of Arab blood by Arab hands.

Israel remains the cause of the problem in the Middle East. We call on President Reagan to exert his utmost to stop the Israeli expansion policy and play the role becoming a great power that has such a great interest in the Arab world. And we call, also, on the Soviet Union to assist in peace progress in the Middle East.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 1:21 p.m. to reporters assembled at the South Portico of the White House.

Earlier, the two Presidents met in the Oval Office and then held a working luncheon, together with U.S. and Sudanese officials, in the State Dining Room.