Pretoria — The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has welcomed the convening of a meeting between Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit in Addis Ababa on Friday.
The summit takes place under the auspices of the Chairperson of the Inter-Governmental Authority Development (IGAD), Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, and the Chair of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), former South African President Thabo Mbeki.
"[Dlamini Zuma] is deeply encouraged by the convening of the summit meeting. She expresses the hope that this meeting will enable the two presidents to agree on the best means of overcoming the challenges encountered in the implementation of the landmark agreements on the post-secession relations between their countries, concluded under the auspices of the AUHIP in Addis Ababa on 27 September 2012, as well as to find solutions to the pending issues of the Abyei Area and the borders.
"It should be recalled that at its 349th meeting held in Addis Ababa on 14 December 2012, the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) welcomed the willingness of the two presidents to meet and encouraged the convening of the meeting in the shortest possible time, in order to remove bottlenecks on all pending issues," said the AU in a statement.
The PSC also agreed to convene at the level of the Heads of State and Government, on the margins of the forthcoming AU Summit in Addis Ababa in January 2013, to review all outstanding issues arising from the 24 April 2012 PSC Communique and Roadmap.