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Sudanese foreign minister hints at renewed trade talks with S.Sudan

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Friday, February 26, 2021

Sudan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi/Courtesy

The Sudanese Foreign Affairs Minister says her country is willing to resume discussions on contentious border areas and trade corridors with South Sudan.

Dr. Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi visited Juba on Thursday on her first official duty trip outside Sudan.

She disclosed that the new Sudanese government is interested in resolving land issues and trade corridor restrictions with its neighbors, including South Sudan and Ethiopia.

In her meeting with President Salva Kiir, Dr. Mariam Al-Sadiq addressed the issue of the four freedoms between the two countries.

She told the press that both sides have agreed to form joint mechanisms for reactivating border trade agreements.

“We are working together to enhance good relations between the two sisterly countries based on cooperation and activating all the agreements between us,” Dr. Mariam Al-Sadiq said.

“We are working to reopen the trade corridors so that it benefits the economies of South Sudan and Sudan. We will be working together in the coming days through the IGAD and through other mechanisms to stop all border disputes and conflicts between African countries.”

For her part, South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Beatrice Khamisa Wani said the complete reopening of the border and trade corridors is vital for the two countries.

“We discussed issues of the corridors how we are going to open those corridors, those corridors are very important for our people not only the people along the border but the people also in South Sudan and Sudan so that there can be freedom of movement, of traders and of residents,” Khamisa Wani said.

“We have seen with the small opening now some of the goods that have come from Sudan they are very affordable for our people and we want to ensure that we maximize on that so that all goes well.”

In 2012, Juba and Khartoum agreed to activate joint border relations, including freedom of movement, trade, freedom to own properties and residence in both countries.

But analysts say the implementation has often slowed due to unwillingness by both countries to priorities trade over political relations.

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