September 15, 2019 South Sudan NEWS PORTAL
(JUBA) – Sudan’s new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has arrived in South Sudan on his first official visit since assuming charge, declaring “the sky is the limit” for ties between the former foes.
“I am very delighted to be here in my second home, Juba. We are looking for a very strategic, very distinguished relationship between our two nations, and the sky is the limit for this relationship,” said Hamdok, who heads an 18-member transitional government formed after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir, on Thursday.
The leaders of South Sudan and Sudan have agreed to reopen border areas between their countries in a bid to boost trade and the free movement of people.
The agreement between new Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, reached late Thursday, is significant because several border areas remain closed, including Heglig in South Sudan’s former Unity State, Kafiakinji in Raja in South Sudan, and El-Khurasana in Sudan’s Western Kordofan state.
South Sudan’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, Deng Dau Deng, said he and Sudan’s foreign minister, Asma Mohamed Abdalla, touched on the disputed, oil-producing region of Abyei during their talks.
“Of course the issue of Abyei is a fundamental issue because we want a final status on the resolution on the conflict of Abyei. The current government in Khartoum and the sovereign council and the Cabinet are very open in addressing the issues that are outstanding between South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan,” said Dau.
Dau said Hamdok also met with the leaders of various Sudanese rebel groups during a two-day visit to Juba that ended Friday and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to ending hostilities with the rebel groups.
A Sudanese government delegation and the rebel groups signed a declaration of principles in Juba and agreed to hold peace talks next month. Dau said part of the reason for Hamdok’s visit to Juba was to cement that process.