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September 23, 2012 7:33 pm
Sudan and South Sudan’s presidents were in Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday for talks over oil and border disputes to meet a UN Security Council deadline threatening sanctions if the two nations failed to resolve their disagreements.
Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, was due to meet Salva Kiir, South Sudanese leader, in Addis Ababa on Sunday, the UN deadline, said Berhane Gebrechristos, Ethiopia’s foreign minister.
Ethiopia’s newly elected prime minister has been pushing both sides to reach an agreement and is consulting with the leaders before they meet, Mr Gebrechristos said.
South Sudan suspended oil exports after border clashes over disputed regions in April nearly escalated to all-out war between the neighbouring countries. African Union peace talks have helped ease tensions with an oil exportation and revenue sharing deal reached in August, but Sudan insists it needs a border security agreement in place before allowing South Sudan to use its pipelines.
“The points are on the table,” Mr Gebrechristos said. “We are quite hopeful and optimistic that things will move forward.”
For weeks, negotiators from both sides have been holding talks in Addis Ababa to present a deal for their leaders to sign on Sunday. Earlier this week the negotiators told Ethiopia's prime minister that they were not close to settling the disagreements.
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