Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, is visiting Sudan and South Sudan as part of the efforts to coordinate and facilitate face-to-face discussions between the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan.
The aim is to encourage the leaders of the two countries to complete consultations on unresolved outstanding issues including the status of Abyei and the implementation of the Addis Ababa Agreement particularly on the details of the 14 miles Temporary Security Zone Arrangement.
The Prime Minister arrived in Khartoum today (December 26) and will be travelling to South Sudan on Thursday (December 27). Khartoum's presidential press secretary, Emad Sayed Ahmed, said Prime Minister Hailemariam's visit "comes in the context of the Ethiopian endeavor to push ahead the peace process between Sudan and South Sudan".
His travel to the two countries follows an understanding reached last week in Addis Ababa by the two negotiating sides for the two countries. Accordingly, the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) scheduled to meet on January 13, 2013 to discuss on issues proposed by the discussion held in Addis Ababa last week.
There is a broad consensus among partners that facilitating a direct discussion between the presidents of the two countries would pave a way for greater optimism in the outcomes of the upcoming JPSM discussion. Prime Minister Hailemariam and African Union High-Level Implementation Panel Chairperson, Thabo Mbeki, have taken the lead initiative to facilitate the face-to-face discussion between the two leaders.