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Sudan reopens border with South Sudan

Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:30 PM

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The president of Sudan has opened the border with South Sudan in advance of talks about security issues between the countries this week in Khartoum.

The talks were scheduled to begin Saturday in the South Sudan capital of Juba, but Sudan announced Sunday the meeting would be held in the Sudanese capital, The Sudan Tribune reported.

Sudan closed the border with South Sudan last year following rebellions in the Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Mutrif Sidiq, the Sudanese ambassador to South Sudan, announced the change in venue after a meeting Sunday with President Omar al-Bashir. Sidiq told reporters Bashir is committed to resolving issues left undecided when previous talks concluded Sept. 27 in Ethiopia.

Still to be settled are disputed areas along the border and an agreement on a referendum on the Abyei region.

The Wednesday meeting, between Sidiq and South Sudan Defense Minister John Kong Nyuon, will primarily discuss the implementation of security arrangements.

A 3-year-long war between Sudan and rebel forces in Darfur ended in 2006. Since residents of South Sudan voted to become independent in 2011, the two governments have been working to normalize relations.

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