October 27, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir will pay a first visit to South Sudan soon since the independence of the new nation in July 2011, said Sudanese foreign minister, Ali Karti.
- Omar al-Bashir (R) welcomes his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir during his arrival at Khartoum Airport October 8,2011 (Reuters)
In statements to the official news agency Suna on Saturday, the minister said this visit will open a new page in the development of bilateral relations between the two neighbours.
The two countries signed on 27 September a cooperation agreement including the establishment of a demilitarised zone, oil transit, border trade, and four freedoms deal allowing movement of the citizens from the two sides of border.
Karti did not disclose the date of the visit despite reports saying it would coincide with the meeting of a joint committee to discuss technical details related to the implementation of security arrangements.
The minister however said the joint security committee chaired by defence ministers will meet during the first week of November.
Bashir had scheduled to visit Juba last April, in response to a visit of President Salva Kiir to Khartoum on 8 October 2011, but the visit was cancelled following the seizure of Hegilig by the South Sudanese army.
The African Union Peace and security Council, in a meeting held on 24 October, gave the two countries six weeks to settle their difference on Abyei and five disputed areas.
However, the Council said it would back a proposal made by the African mediation providing to hold a referendum in October 2013 without the nomads of Missreryia, despite the Sudanese rejection of this proposition.