Interview: Khartoum's ruling NCP urges Juba to show political will to overcome differences

2013-03-06 16:48:30 GMT2013-03-07 00:48:30(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

KHARTOUM, March. 6 (Xinhua) -- Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) urged the South Sudanese government Wednesday to show the necessary political will to overcome the differences between the two countries ahead of their new round of negotiations.

"We are looking forward to an active political will on the part of our brothers in South Sudan to reach a comprehensive settlement for the issues of difference," said Ibrahim Ghandour, NCP official in charge of external relations, in an exclusive interview to Xinhua.

He noted that the negotiations, slated to resume in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday, will follow up the implementation of what was agreed upon in September during the summit between the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his Southern Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir Mayardit.

He explained that the two countries mainly divide on the affiliation of the Mile (14) area and bicker over the link between South Sudan's army and the 9th and 10th infantry divisions in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

"Resolving these two issues will likely to lead to the implementation of all the other agreements including the establishment of the demilitarized zone, demarcation of the joint border and resumption of South Sudan's oil pumping and exporting via Sudan's territories," noted Ghandour.

He further said that the oil issue has already been agreed on, explaining that "we are only looking forward to implementing the security measures because without security, the oil exportation will not be possible. Security is the base of any successful economic cooperation between the two countries."

Ghandour expressed optimism over this round of talks, saying "I expect it to be more positive than the previous ones, but we are looking forward to an active will on the part of South Sudan's leadership."

"After the conclusion of the presidential meeting in September, they refused to implement the agreement regarding the Mile (14) area despite the fact that it was signed by President Salva Kiir," said Ghandour. "They also rejected the border agreement despite the fact that it was presented by the technical committee to the two presidents who signed it."

That said, Ghandour reiterated the NCP's commitment to what was agreed on with the south.

The African Union mediation, led by Thabo Mbeki, recently urged Sudan and South Sudan to resume their talks.

He urged the two countries to implement what they have agreed on and fulfill their commitments, warning them against any unjustified delay.

Mbeki is also expected to ask the two countries' presidents to meet on the sidelines of the forthcoming African Union summit in Addis Ababa, since recent rounds of talks between Khartoum and Juba have ended without any progress.

On Sept. 27, Sudan and South Sudan signed a package of agreements on various issues during a presidential summit in the capital of Ethiopia.

Witnessed by the members of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan, the two sides inked three deals on cooperation, security and post-secession matters. However, the signed agreements did not tackle the issues of Abyei and border demarcation.

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