August 30, 2013 (KHARTOUM) -The External Relations officer at the National Congress Party (NCP) Ibrahim Ghandour stressed that the Sudanese government attaches great importance to relations with South Sudan.
- Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party External Relations officer Ibrahim Ghandour (Ashorooq TV)
in statements to the state’s news agency (SUNA), Ghandour expressed hope that the upcoming visit by South Sudan president Salva Kiir to Khartoum would mark a new milestone in bilateral ties and contribute to resolving outstanding disputes between the two neighbors.
"It would be be natural for us that we prioritize being keen on the establishment of good, strong and straightforword relationship with the state of South Sudan which was until recently a part of the country and the nation," Ghandour told SUNA in an interview.
The NCP official said that the visit would tackle relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them.
He said that he expects the visit to achieve a breakthrough in the highly contentious issue of security arrangements which remain a stumbling block in relations between the two ex-foes.
Ghandour added that the visit might witness new steps in the way of bolstering economic unity between the two countries , asserting the need for fruitful cooperation in economic and social fields for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries and the interest of the entire region.
He also commended the role of the African mediation team chaired by Thabo Mbeki that is working on bridging gaps between Khartoum and Juba.
Khartoum insists Juba commit itself to conclusion of security arrangements, including ending its alleged support to rebel groups operating in border states and the activation of a buffer zone.
Juba has repeatedly denied providing any support to rebels from the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), accusing Khartoum in turn of supporting a rebellion in Jonglei state led by David Yau Yau.
Sudan says that Juba’s refusal to accept the colonial borders of some disputed areas has made it difficult to establish the centreline of the demilitarised zone.
Unlike Juba, the Sudanese government continue to emphasize that concluding security arrangements is key to implementing other provisions in cooperation agreements signed last year related to issues like citizenship and cross-border trade.