March 13, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir will chair an extraordinary cabinet session on Thursday to discuss the nine cooperation agreements signed with the South Sudan in Ethiopia last September.
- Sudan’s top negotiator Idris Abdel-Qadir (REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
The deals hailed as a major breakthrough in the relationship between the two ex-foes were placed on hold following Khartoum’s insistence that the security portion is finalized and implemented first.
But on Tuesday delegations from both countries meeting in Addis Ababa agreed to a 16-page timetable to put the nine September agreements into effect including the one related to the resumption of South Sudan’s export of oil through the pipelines that run through Sudan’s territory.
The head of Sudan’s negotiating team Idris Abdel-Qadir told reporters after a meeting with president Bashir on Wednesday in Khartoum that a committee to follow up on the implementation of the cooperation agreements will be formed.
The committee headed by Bashir will be comprised of top Sudanese officials including the vice-presidents, presidential assistants and officials from other relevant ministries.
Abdel-Qadir said that his team briefed Bashir on the details of the implementation of all security and economic agreements.
“President al-Bashir renewed Sudan’s full commitment to the implementation of the agreements in letter and spirit and in accordance with the agreed timetables” Abdel-Qadir said.
He noted that the phone call between Bashir and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir which took place yesterday assured sincerity and seriousness towards the expeditious implementation of the cooperation agreements to normalize relations and to achieve political, security, and economic interests of the peoples of both countries.
Bashir’s agreed to Kiir invitation to visit Juba which would be the first since he attended South Sudan’s declaration of independence on July 9, 2011, following a near-unanimous referendum vote for separation after a 22-year civil war.
After teetering on the brink of full-scale conflict in April during the worst border clashes since splitting, the two countries agreed in September to set up the buffer zone but did not implement it.
Some 2 million people died in Sudan’s decades-long north-south civil war, which ended with a 2005 peace deal that paved the way for the South’s secession.