24 January 2013

Sudan: Bashir and Kiir Meet Over Stalled Talks

Khartoum — Sudan and South Sudanese president will meet Friday in Addis Ababa to discuss the implementation of the a cooperation agreement they signed last September following the failure of a recent round of talks between negotiating teams.

President Omer Al-Bashir smiles after shaking hands with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir following a meeting in Addis Ababa, on July 14, 2012 (Getty)

The presidential meeting comes after a breakdown in the talks at the level of the joint political and security committee on the implementation of the buffer zone.

Khartoum said Juba does not want pull out its troops from the disputed area of Mile 14, as the later accused Khartoum of seeking to add new provisions to the security arrangements to prevent Sudanese rebels from crossing to South Sudan.

President Omer Al-Bashir will meet his South Sudanese counterpart in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the African Union summit, the official SUNA said on Thursday adding that he will also address the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) which will kick off on Friday.

The presidential meeting will also discuss the divergence on the formation of Abyei legislative council as the South Sudanese side wants 12 of the 20 seats as it was the case before the independence. But Khartoum refused the quest and demands 50% stressing they accepted the past situation to promote unity.

Unconfirmed reports say the mediation will submit new proposals to the presidential meeting aiming to facilitate a comprehensive settlement to the outstanding issues.

The AUPSC meeting at the presidential level will to discuss the stalemate in the talks between Khartoum and Juba, and also has to decide on whether or not it will refer a proposal to organise a referendum on Abyei final status next October to the U.N. Security Council.

No oil exportation before an accord on security issue

The United States this week regretted the failure of talks between the two countries and urged Khartoum to allow the exportation of the South Sudanese oil saying such move will bring Juba to cooperate with Khartoum on "security interests".

Washington also urged the Sudanese government to hold talks with rebel SPLM-North to address the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

However, Khartoum refused Thursday foreign call to enforce the agreement on oil exportation before the disengagement between Juba and the SPLM-N fighters.

The Sudanese Foreign Minister, Ali Karti has expressed his country's refusal of the Western efforts for implementation of the agreement on oil with South Sudan before completion of the security arrangements.

He stressed that such a move is "unacceptable".

Speaking from Addis Ababa on Thursday after meetings with a number of African and foreign counterparts he said that the two presidents, Bashir and Kiir, agreed at their last meeting to carry out the signed deals without new conditions and in a coordinated manner between the different agreements.

The Sudanese foreign minister went to wonder why, the security arrangements were not coordinated with opening of the borders for trade as well as opening the oil pipelines.

He expressed to the African and foreign officials in Addis Ababa Sudan's hope that the meeting between the two presidents would help in the implementation of agreements and ensure commitment to what has been signed.

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