4 September 2013

Sudan, South Sudan Hold Summit in Khartoum

Photo: Charlton Doki/IPS
Oil storage facilities at Bentiu, Unity State, South Sudan.

Sudan's President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir told South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on the occasion that the flow of oil through Sudan will continue "without any impediments" across flexible but secure borders, emphasizing the importance of ending rebel support.

"The commitment to stop supporting and sheltering rebel movements is the most effective means in the process of confidence building between the two countries," he said.

The President also said his government is committed to immediate demarcation of the still-undefined borders and cooperating with the AU mediation teams working on disputed border regions, the determination of the zero centerline and the monitoring of rebel support claims.

President Kiir reiterated South Sudan's denial of harboring anti-Khartoum rebels but said he was willing to undertake steps that would alleviate Sudan's concern.

"We received accusations by Khartoum but according to the reality our country does not support opposition movements and does not provide them [with] shelter and I am ready to fulfill my promise in this regard," he said.

He also urged the Sudanese government to open the borders and facilitate cross-border trade.

He added that "I do not want these agreements to be on the books [only]; we will work to implement them fully and we are here for that."

Referring to Abyei, President Kiir said he wanted resolution of the dispute on the basis of the AU proposals and urged Khartoum to do the same. President Al-Bashir said that Sudan is determined to find a solution that is satisfactory to all parties in Abyei that would ensure peaceful coexistence between the components of the local communities there "so as not to be a thorn on the side of relations between the two countries in the future".

The two sides agreed on the importance of swiftly forming civil institutions in Abyei, and pledged to work together with the international community to obtain debt relief for the more than $40 billion in debt that has yet to be split following the independence of South Sudan.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to establish a joint council of businessmen from the two countries, some of whom were part of Kiir's delegation.

During his one day visit, President Kiir also held separate meetings with the leaders of Sudan's major political parties including Hassan Al-Turabi from the Popular Congress Party, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani, the head of the National Umma Party, al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, the Sudan Communist Party leader, Mohamed Mokhtar Al-Khatib, and the head of the National Consensus Forces opposition alliance, Farouk Abu Essa.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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