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Indian envoy in Sudan, South talks

15 May 2012, 12:52

Khartoum - An Indian special envoy headed to South Sudan on Tuesday after holding talks in Khartoum following a UN Security Council resolution that seeks to end border fighting between Sudan and the South.

India is a non-permanent member of the Security Council which passed the 02 May resolution that also aims to resolve a series of protracted disputes over oil and other matters to avert "a serious threat" to international peace.

New Delhi's envoy Amarendra Khatua met on Monday in Khartoum with a senior official in Sudan's petroleum ministry, and with Haile Menkerios, the UN's special envoy to the two Sudans, an Indian embassy official told AFP.

Khatua wanted to express India's concern about recent developments "which led to escalation of conflict and [the] Heglig takeover", while also offering support for Khartoum's willingness to comply with the UN resolution and an African Union "roadmap" underlying it, the embassy official said.

He added that India can play an important role in "helping both countries resolve all outstanding issues" under African Union-led talks.

The South's government in Juba has said it is committed to all provisions of the UN resolution, which condemned its 10-day occupation in April of Sudan's main Heglig oilfield.

The UN equally condemned Sudanese aerial bombardments against the South.

India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) holds a 25% stake in Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company Ltd, which operates the Heglig oil fields.

Khartoum's foreign ministry has said it is committed to stopping hostilities - there has been no reported fighting along the border for a few days - but it has expressed reservations about certain provisions of the UN resolution.

Khatua made a previous visit on 26 March, when weeks of border clashes began between Sudan and South Sudan.



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