Sudan's Bashir to visit South Sudan on Tuesday

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 19, 2013 4:06 PM
Sudan's Bashir to visit South Sudan on Tuesday

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will make a rare visit to South Sudan on Tuesday to meet his counterpart Salva Kiir, state news agency SUNA said on Saturday about the trip that is expected to focus on their disputed border region.

Invited by Kiir, Bashir will travel with a delegation including ministers and officials and will discuss issues of "mutual and vital" interest to the two countries, SUNA said.

The meeting will cover the oil-producing Abyei province, that contains fertile land and is symbolic to both leaders, South Sudan's ambassador to Khartoum was quoted as saying last week in a Khartoum newspaper when Kiir extended the invitation.

Sudan faced unrest in September over fuel subsidy cuts, driven by a severe financial crunch since the secession of oil-producing South Sudan in 2011 deprived Khartoum of three-quarters of the crude output it relied on for state revenues.

The visit will only be Bashir's second to the South Sudan capital of Juba since the country, once Africa's largest state, split in 2011. Bashir's first visit to Juba was in April.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Alison Williams)