Khartoum — Khartoum voiced a cautious welcome to an Ethiopian initiative aiming to hold a summit between Sudanese and South Sudanese presidents in Addis Ababa to push the ongoing talks between the two countries.
The UN Security Council endorsed on 2 May an African Union roadmap demanding Khartoum and Juba to conclude a deal over the outstanding issues before the 2 August. However, the talks over a buffer zone are deadlocked because Khartoum refuses a map proposed by the mediation to delimit this demilitarized zone.
Sudan's vice-president, Al-Haj Adam Youssef, who is also the head of political sector in the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said on Sunday that his party welcomes the organization of this presidential summit whenever the appropriate conditions are gathered.
A similar meeting was held in the margins of an African Union summit last January to end a dispute between the two countries over oil transportation fees but President Kiir refused a compromise prepared by the mediation and the Ethiopian Prime Minister.
Al-Haj, further said, after the weekly meeting of NCP political sector, that the party called to prioritize the security issues and expressed hopes that Juba government make the necessary efforts to build bridges of trust between the two countries.
He noted that the lack of confidence between the two sides led to block the implementation of the signed security agreements in the past. He stressed in his remarks to the press that building confidence is a starting point to enable the success of the negotiation and to settle the rest of the outstanding issues.
"When we achieve this (confidence-building) we will not need an intermediary," he added.
Sudan accuses the South Sudan ruling party of supporting its former comrades of the SPLM-North who fight against Khartoum in Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Juba also is accused of harbouring and supporting Darfur rebels who formed an alliance with the SPLM-N since last November.
Delegations from the two neighbouring countries will resume talks on 5 July. It was announced that besides the political security mechanism, different committees will also meet at the same time to tackle the other pending issues.
The recent rounds of talks discussed mainly the disputed border areas and the operationalisation of a buffer zone, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement.
While Khartoum demands the mediation to withdraw an area called "14 miles" from its map before to establish the buffer zone, Juba proposed that the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) be extended to include all the disputed areas.
Juba also demands that the issue of disputed border areas be referred to an international arbitration. But, recently President Bashir said he accepted in 2008 to bring Abyei issue to the arbitration tribunal in The Hague because he was hoping it might contribute to keep Sudan united.
The Security Council threatened to impose economic sanctions on the two countries if they fail to agree on the pending issues before the 2 August. However, international community knows well that it has a limited leverage on the parties.