Bashir okays credentials of South Sudan envoy, resumption of flights to Juba
September 5, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir on Wednesday approved the credentials of South Sudan’s first ambassador to his country, Mayan Dut Wol, and agreed to the resumption of direct flights between Khartoum and Juba by mid-December, in another sign of the détente between the neighbors as they embark on a new round of talks on post-secession issues.
A South Sudanese arrives to register for a passport or a temporary travel document at the South Sudanese Embassy in Khartoum April 9, 2012 (Reuters)
Following approval of his credentials, Wol said in a press conference at South Sudan’s embassy in Al-Riyad up-market neighborhood of Khartoum that he had conveyed to Al-Bashir a verbal message from South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit expressing hope that the current round of talks between the two countries which started in Addis Ababa on Wednesday would be the last one in the long string of negotiations which recently arrived at a deal to resume exporting South Sudan oil via Sudan.
Wol also said that it was hoped that the two presidents would meet during the funeral ceremony of Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa on 2 September but the tight schedules of the two leaders prevented that from happening.
According to Wol, President Al-Bashir pledged to facilitate the return home of more than 90,000 South Sudanese citizens stranded in different parts of Sudan and to address the situation of 8,000 South Sudanese students in his country.
Wol stressed that Juba is keen to remedy the situation of South Sudanese who have been pensioned off in all levels of service in what was once their country.
The South Sudanese diplomat acknowledged that political disagreements between the two countries had cast negative shadows on their economic situation and led to the suspension of bilateral trade. He however expressed hope that the current negotiations would reach solutions to the outstanding issues and pave the way for the resumption of bilateral investment and cooperation between the two countries. Wol also said that Juba wants to re-open bank branches in the two countries to facilitate flow of currency.
In a related development, Sudan Tribune has learned that President Al-Bashir gave his approval to the resumption of direct flights between Khartoum and Juba by mid-December.
Long acrimonious relations between Sudan and South Sudan reached its nadir in April this year when their negotiations floundered dangerously and later led to the outbreak of the worst border fighting since South Sudan seceded to form an independent state in July last year. During that period Sudan suspended direct flights between Khartoum and Juba and banned cross-border trade.
But the two countries ceased hostilities and returned to negotiations under regional and international pressure to resolve a host of post-secession issues including oil resources, border demarcation, the status of Abyei contested region and citizenship.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article43814