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South Africa VP begins Sudan visit tomorrow

October 21, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The South African Vice president Kgalema Motlanthe will arrive in Sudan tomorrow on a two day state visit, according to state media.

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Kgalema Petros Motlanthe, Deputy President of South Africa (AFP)

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) said that Motlanthe will meet with president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha and presidential adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail.

Motlanthe will also meet with Sudan electoral board commission Abel Alier and visit the International University of Africa.

It was not immediately clear if the South African official will make a stop in South Sudan.

The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation issued a press release saying that Motlanthe will hold discussions with his counterparts in the Government of the South Sudan (GoSS) Riek Machar.

“The visit takes place within the context of the advancement of the African agenda and South Africa’s commitment to assist the Sudanese people in the efforts to restore peace and to contribute to the post-conflict reconstruction of the Sudan. South Africa and the Sudan enjoy strong bilateral relations as symbolized by various projects at various levels of government. At national level, South Africa and the Sudan convene Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) sessions at both Ministerial and Senior Officials level” the South African foreign ministry said.

"South Africa is also involved in governance training Programmes to capacitate Southern Sudanese Officials within the context of the Capacity and Institution Building Project for Southern Sudan. South Africa has also deployed troops and civilian police in Darfur as part of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). South Africa is the Chair of the AU Ministerial Commission on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development of the Sudan”.

South Africa has been taken a keen interest in Sudan’s North-South peace process and Darfur and pledged readiness to help ongoing efforts for peace in the country.