Sudan's military ruler General Abdel Fattah Burhan said Wednesday he was open to negotiations on the country's future a day after calling them off amid a bloody crackdown on protesters.
"We in the military council open our arms to negotiate with no restriction but the national interest to continue building a legitimate power that reflects the aspirations of the Sudanese revolution in every way," General Burhan said in a speech broadcast on state television.
Sixty people have been killed in a two-day crackdown on Sudanese protesters carried out by troops and paramilitaries, a doctors' committee close to the demonstrators said on Wednesday.
A previous toll given by the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors had counted 40 dead since the bloody dispersal of a weeks-long sit-in outside army headquarters in Khartoum on Monday.
"We regret the events," the General said in his speech on Wednesday.
Sudan's military ousted veteran President Omar al-Bashir in April after months of protests against his authoritarian rule and had agreed a three-year transition period to a civilian administration.
But Mr Burhan said after the crackdown that the agreement had been ditched and an election would take place within nine months -- a plan rejected by protest leaders.
They called on their supporters to take part in "total civil disobedience" to topple the military council.