Bashir tells Kiir keen to solve disputes with South Sudan

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s President Omar al Bashir told his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir on Wednesday that Khartoum is keen to resolve all pending issues with South Sudan in a bid to improve relations, the official news agency SUNA reported. Bashir’s remarks came during a meeting with Kiir, starting a two-day visit to Khartoum to try to resolve border disputes and address mutual accusations of supporting rebels in each other’s countries.
It is Kiir’s third visit to Khartoum since the south split from the north in 2011 after a 22-year civil war that killed hundreds of thousands.
“Sudan is keen to resolve all pending issues… and activate political and security mechanisms in order to take bilateral relations forward,” Bashir told Kiir at their meeting, according to SUNA.
“Sudan is supporting South Sudanese people and has kept open its territories to deliver humanitarian aid to South Sudan, and will also step up efforts for peace in South Sudan,” Bashir said.
Bashir earlier welcomed Kiir and his delegation at Khartoum airport and the two then held a joint meeting.
Due to unresolved issues, ties between Khartoum and Juba have often been tense since South Sudan gained independence six years ago.
Border rows, economic issues such as Juba’s payments for the use of an oil export pipeline through Sudan and building a buffer zone along the frontier are expected to dominate talks during Kiir’s visit.
Officials will also attempt to address tensions over alleged support for insurgents.
Sudan has regularly accused its neighbour of aiding rebels in its war-torn Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions, while Juba has accused Khartoum of aiding Kiir’s opponent and former deputy Riek Machar in South Sudan’s ongoing civil war. — AFP