December 23, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government has welcomed South Sudan’s president Silva Kiir Mayardit acceptance of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation to engage in an unconditional dialogue with his former deputy Riek Machar.
- Qutbi Al-Mahdi (Ashorooq TV)
Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Abu-Bakr al-Sideeg, said in a statement on Monday that the conflict in South Sudan could only be resolved through dialogue and peaceful political means, pointing to Sudan’s strategic interest in achieving peace, stability and security in South Sudan.
Al-Sideeg further expressed hope for the success of IGAD’s efforts, saying that Sudan is ready to offer any kind of support for those efforts in order to restore peace and stability in its southern neighbor.
He added that when the South Sudanese opted for secession from Sudan they accepted their choice and became the first country to recognize the newborn state, mentioning that president Omer Hassan al-Bashir attended the independence celebration of the new state and pledged to provide help for building it.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011 after the South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence. The world’s newest nation quickly became the 193rd member of the United Nations and 54th member of the African Union (AU).
In the same context, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) leading figure, Qutbi Al-Mahdi, underscored importance of relations and common interests between Sudan and South Sudan, pointing that Khartoum is not involved in the ongoing conflict.
He criticized in a statement to the pro-government Sudan Media Services (SMC) website Khartoum’s response to the crisis and described it as slow, saying that the government should have taken the initiative to mediate between the conflicting parties in order to arrive at a peaceful solution for the problem.
The NCP leading figure further called on Sudan’s negotiating team with South Sudan and ministries of oil and commerce besides the security organs to take the initiative to resolve the conflict in South Sudan.