The UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and the foreign ministers of Norway, UK and US (the Troika) have welcomed the Sudan/South Sudan presidential summit today (Friday, January 4th) here in Addis Ababa.
They have called on the two leaders to address decisively the remaining outstanding issues and to implement the security arrangements between the Sudan and South Sudan.
In a statement on Thursday, the Secretary General encouraged both Presidents to address decisively all outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan regarding security, border demarcation and the final status of the Abyei Area, to urgently activate agreed border security mechanisms, and implement all the other agreements signed on September 27th in Addis Ababa.
Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State and the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide, in a joint statement, welcomed the meeting saying it would bolster efforts to resolve outstanding issues.
They commended the "continuing valuable" role of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) as well as the efforts of Prime Minister, Hailemariam, but expressed regret over the slow implementation of the September agreement: "We call on the two leaders now to address concretely all outstanding issues and ensure that the armed forces of the two countries immediately withdraw from the demilitarized zone and deploy the Joint Border and Verification and Monitoring Mechanism in line with what has been agreed.
Dr. Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union U), also welcomed the meeting and said she hoped the meeting would enable the two leaders to overcome the challenges encountered in the implementation of the landmark agreement on the post-secession relations between their countries, as well as find solutions to the issues of Abyei and the borders.
President Al-Bashir is expected to be accompanies by Presidential Affairs Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh, Defence Minister Abdel Rahim Hussein, Foreign Minister Ali Karti, and the head of National Intelligence and Security Service Mohamed Atta. President Kiir's delegation is expected to include South Sudan's chief negotiator Pagan Amum as well as Defence Minister John Kong Nyuong and Minister for the Presidency Emmanuel Lowilla.