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Sudan's Bashir leaves for South Sudan

12 April 2013, 16:00

Khartoum - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has flown out of Khartoum for an official visit to South Sudan, official media reported on Friday, in a sign of easing tensions after border clashes last year.

"President Bashir left for Juba accompanied by a high-level delegation," the state Suna news agency said in a brief dispatch.

Bashir will be making his first journey over the disputed frontier since he attended South Sudan's independence celebrations on July 9 2011, following a near-unanimous referendum vote for separation after a 22-year civil war.

"President Bashir will discuss in his visit with [President] Salva Kiir the relations between the two countries and how to develop and continue these relations for the benefit of both nations," Suna earlier quoted Mutrif Siddiq, Khartoum's ambassador to Juba, as saying.

"The visit of President Bashir will receive a warm welcome in Juba from the government and the people of South Sudan," Siddiq said.

Independence left key issues unresolved between the impoverished neighbours, who fought along their undemarcated border a year ago, with intermittent clashes in subsequent months.

But at talks in Addis Ababa in March, Sudan and South Sudan finally settled on detailed timetables to improve relations by implementing key economic and security pacts.



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