9 December 2012

Sudan: Nafie - Russia Supports the Sudanese Position Over Abyei

Khartoum — Following his return from Moscow on Saturday evening, Presidential Assistant Nafie Ali Nafie reiterated that Russia is supportive of the Sudanese government position over Abyei issue.

Nafie, led an important delegation including several ministers to Moscow where he held talks with the Russian officials about economic and scientific cooperation and investment. But he also tackled the issue of Abyei with the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

In statements to the official SUNA at Khartoum airport on the dawn of Sunday morning, Nafie said that "the Russian leadership clearly supports Sudan's point of view to give enough time to (discuss) Abyei issue, to remove time limitation and that the issue remains in African hands and not be referred to the UN Security Council."

Sudan which accuses Washington of being behind the decision of the 24 October, sought the Russian support to block any vote in favour of the proposal at the level of the Security Council. The two parties held different meetings over the issue previously.

South Sudanese government pushes for the definitive adoption of the African mediation proposal saying it would be the best solution to avoid endless talks with Khartoum.

The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on 24 October decided to give the two parties six weeks to reach a negotiated solution over the basis of a proposal made by the African mediation. However the proposal will be definitive and referred for the UN Security Council if they fail to do so.

Sudan had already rejected the panel's proposal which provides to hold a referendum in Abyei in October 2013 without the Misseriya nomads.

Since, the two parties did not meet over Abyei. Instead the two parties thought it would be better to seek regional and international support for their positions.

A South Sudanese delegation led by Pagan Amum was also in Moscow to convince the Russian officials to not support Khartoum's position.

The AUPSC is expected to meet on 14 December.

Nafie said they signed also a number of economic agreements with the Russian ministry of mining and met firms disposed to invest in Sudan.

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