S. Sudan, Sudan talks amicable

Oct. 23, 2013 at 12:22 PM
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JUBA, South Sudan, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Leaders from South Sudan and Sudan were able to remove "much suspicion" during bilateral talks in South Sudan's capital, the Sudanese foreign minister said.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met in Juba with his South Sudanese counterpart, Salva Kiir, in an effort to resolve issues left over from a 2005 peace accord that ended the region's civil war.

South Sudan in 2011 became an independent country under the terms of that deal but border disputes, rebel fighting and oil rows have jeopardized the fragile peace.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti was quoted by the independent Sudan Tribune as saying both sides worked on resolving outstanding border security issues.

"The agreement has removed much suspicion and security concerns, especially with regard to refrain from support and harboring to rebellion," he said.

The newspaper reported Tuesday joint statements from the Juba meeting were made in general terms. Border issues, like the status of the disputed region of Abyei, remain unsettled.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday bilateral talks were a step in the right direction but more work was needed to resolve lingering issues.

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