Foreign minister heads to Ethiopia for talks on Sudanese crisis

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr will go to Addis Ababa on Monday to attend the African Union’s Peace and Security Council meeting, the ministry’s website said Sunday.

The meeting will mainly tackle the armed conflict between Sudan and South Sudan over the disputed oil-rich area of Heglig, as well as situations in Mali and Guinea-Bissau.

Ministry spokesperson Amr Roshdy said the minister’s visit is part of Egypt’s efforts to calm the tension between Sudan and South Sudan. The minister will continue intensified talks that began in both countries’ capitals last week, urging a cease-fire and a return to negotiations to resolve unsettled issues such as the demarcation of borders, oil and halting support of armed groups.

Amr will also meet with the African committee dealing with the Sudanese crisis, presided over by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki, Roshdy said. Amr will also meet his Ethiopian counterpart Hila Meriam Desalin to coordinate bilateral efforts for resolving the Sudanese crisis.

Last week, Sudan declared South Sudan an enemy country in the aftermath of clashes between the two countries over Heglig, which provides half of Sudan’s production of oil. On Saturday, Sudan announced its control of the area and the withdrawal of South Sudanese forces.

In January 2011, the north and south of Sudan separated after a public referendum. However, several issues had not yet been settled.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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