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President Kiir, PM Hamdok hold talks in Juba

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President Salva Kiir and Sudan’s Prime Minister, Dr. Abdallah Hamdok, yesterday afternoon held talks on wide-ranging issues including the implementation of South Sudan’s revitalized peace agreement, the Sudan peace agreement, and bilateral cooperation among others, trade and investment minister Dhieu Mathok Diing said yesterday.

“This (Thursday) afternoon, President Salva Kiir met with the Sudanese Prime Minister, Dr. Abdallah Hamdok, who is in Juba and accompanied by five or six key ministers, who are responsible for the economic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan,” Minister Mathok said.

He added: “Dr. Hamdok and the accompanying delegation are in Juba to discuss many files. The first among them was to discuss the implementation of South Sudan’s revitalized peace agreement. Sudan and Uganda are the guarantors of the peace agreement.”

Minister Mathok said the recent meeting of the IGAD Council of Ministers which came up with several resolutions was also discussed and that Dr. Hamdok came to share the outcome of the meeting with President Kiir.

“The other file is Sudan’s peace agreement which was mediated by South Sudan and President Kiir was the chief mediator of that agreement. He came to brief the president on how the peace agreement has been implemented and what are the challenges facing the implementation process of the Juba Peace Agreement in Sudan,” Mathok said.

He said the third file issue was that of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, especially the cooperation agreement that was signed in September 2012.

“He (Dr. Hamdok) came along with line ministers who are responsible for these cooperation agreements. That is why President Kiir was also joined during the meeting by his ministers to meet with their counterparts to see how best they can promote the cooperation agreement and implement those which are not implemented,” he added.

Minister Mathok said the meeting also touched on how the two countries can work collaboratively to address crises in the region.

“The last issue was how Sudan and South Sudan could work together to address some of the key issues in the region. We know that there are a lot of problems within the region which are related to the IGAD region,” Mathok said. “We know that there is a problem in Ethiopia, Chad and other countries in the region and these are neighbors to Sudan and South Sudan. The two leaders thought of meeting to see to it that South Sudan and Sudan could be helpful in those regional issues.”

He said ministers from the two countries also met their counterparts to discuss the bilateral issues of trade, river and railway transport, banking, and opening of borders inter alia.

 “The opening of the borders between the two countries is one of the key issues. The border between Sudan and South Sudan must be opened such that people trade. There are issues related to the creation of the free zones, which are supposed to be at the borders of the two counties such that they facilitate the trading,” According to Mathok. “There are issues related to the opening of Sudanese commercial banks in South Sudan and this thing is going to be discussed between the Central Bank of Sudan and South Sudan to see how they can do it.”

Prime Minister Hamdok will return to Khartoum on Saturday.

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