24 December 2012

South Sudan: Sudan's Ruling Party Welcomes Bashir-Kiir Summit

Khartoum — The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) welcomed the organization of a summit between the Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir before the African Union summit next month.

Negotiating delegations from both countries agreed last week in Addis Ababa to meet after Christmas and New Year holidays as the two parties agreed partially on the implementation of security deals. The next January meetings, of the joint political security committee, will focus on the rebels' issue.

Initially the mediation was planning to organise a meeting between the two presidents on the margins of the African Union annual meeting to discuss to discuss besides the rebels' issue, Abyei and the disputed areas.

NCP spokesperson, Badr al-Deen Ibrahim, said his party welcomes a presidential meeting between Bashir and Kiir before the African Union "if it is in the interest of the implementation of the agreements signed between the two countries".

Speaking after a meeting of the party's political sector, Ibrahim said that Khartoum supports and welcomes any step leading towards the enforcement of Cooperation Agreement and paves the way for the establishment of good-neighborly relationship.

He expressed hope that the two parties would demonstrate the necessary political will to enforce what has been agreed, and reiterated Sudan's commitment to what was signed in Addis Ababa.

The official was reacting to statements by Luka Biong, member of South Sudan negotiating team, to Khartoum based Al-Sahafa daily newspaper where he said that a South Sudanese delegation will arrive to Khartoum to discuss the presidential summit.

Ibrahim denied that Sudanese government has blocked the implementation of the agreements inked on 27 September. He further called on the mediation and the international community to exert the necessary pressure on any of the parties they consider obstructing its implementation.

Khartoum which has long accused Juba of supporting rebel groups particularly the SPLM-N, refuses to allow the exportation of South Sudanese oil through its pipeline and the Red Sea ports asking it to disengage with the Sudanese insurgents

In addition, it says Juba did not yet withdraw its troops from the disputed areas. The South Sudanese army due to the rainy session was not able to redeploy its troops and their heavy military materials from these areas.

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