South Sudan’s Kiir set for talks in Khartoum

By MOHAMMED AMIN, Nation Correspondent in Khartoum

Kiir and Bashir pS
Salva Kiir and Omar Al Bashir meet during previous talks in Ethiopia [Photo: AFP]
April 03, 2014(Khartoum) — Sudan has announced that the president of South Sudan, Mr Salva Kiir Mayardit will visit Khartoum on Saturday to hold a summit with his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Sudanese ministry of foreign affairs spokesman Abu Bakr Al-sidig told the Nation today that the one-day visit comes in response to an invitation from President al-Bashir.

“The visit comes within the context of continued interplay between the two countries to further develop their relations,” Mr Alsidiq said.

“The two presidents will discuss the ways to accelerate the implementation of the cooperation agreement between the two states, including ending the current tension in Abyei disputed area” he pointed out.

He further added that the summit will also discuss the possible ways to push forward the stalled peace talks between the Southern warring parties and how to implement the ceasefire on the ground.

The spokesman of the South Sudan Embassy in Khartoum Gabriel Akot confirmed the visit.

He told the Nation that Salva Kiir’s delegation will include the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior affairs, Humanitarian affairs, economy and oil industries.

The two countries have traded accusations of violating the peace and stability in Abyei region. The UN Security Council called on the two countries to withdraw their forces from the area.

The two countries signed an agreement last March to reactivate the security agreement halting the mutual rebel support and the establishment of the demilitarised buffer zone on the border.

Abyei is one of the most complicated pending issues between Khartoum and Juba, beside other issues of border demarcation, the sharing of the Sudan foreign debt and the status of the citizens in the two states. The agreement on continuation of the southern oil flow through Sudan has improved the tension relation between the two neighbours.

The East African regional block IGAD has been part of efforts to find a peaceful settlement in South Sudan.

Last week, Bashir’s top assistant Ibrahim Ghandour said the presence of South Sudanese troops in the long-disputed Abyei border area threatens peace between the two states.

About 660 South Sudanese soldiers and police were stationed in Abyei, along with up to 150 Sudanese police guarding a small oil complex, a February report by UN chief Ban Ki-moon said.

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