September 10, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki Moon has called for a consultative forum at the ministerial level to take place in New York to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the cooperation agreements signed between Sudan and South Sudan.
- Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir (R) attends a welcome ceremony with his South Sudan’s counterpart Salva Kiir (L) upon his arrival at Khartoum airport on September 3, 2013 (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Sudan’s official news agency SUNA said the gathering scheduled for September 27 will discuss boosting implementation of the cooperation agreements.
The delegation of Sudan to the UN General Assembly taking place this month will be led by its Foreign Minister Ali Karti who will participate in this meeting as well.
A week ago, South Sudan president Salva Kiir visited Khartoum for talks with his counterpart Omer Hassan al-Bashir days before Sudanese authorities were scheduled to implement a decision to close the pipeline that transports oil from the landlocked south.
The two countries are at loggerheads over claims of rebel support which Khartoum cited as a main reason to freeze the oil agreement which is a crucial component of the cooperation agreements.
An African Union (AU) committee has been tasked with verifying and investigating these allegations after which Khartoum agreed to suspend the shutdown decision.
Khartoum and Juba also have yet to demarcate the borders or agree on how to settle the impasse over referendum in the contested region of Abyei in which its residents must decide whether it wants to join north or South Sudan.
The Sudanese foreign ministry said it began extensive efforts to reactivate the relations with Juba and speed up implementation of the cooperation agreements through stepped up communication between the ministries and government organs in the two countries.
Spokesman for the foreign ministry Ambassador Abu-Bakr al-Sideeg said in a statement to SUNA that Karti has chaired a plenary meeting with the general directors and directors of administrations at the ministry to draw up plans for implementation of the agreements reached during Kiir’s visit.
Al-Sideeg said that the coming period is expected to witness more exchange of visits including by cultural and technical delegations.