Foreign minister on Sudan trip to end strife between north and south

Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr left Cairo International Airport early Sunday on a military plane for a two-day trip to Sudan and South Sudan as part of Egyptian efforts to defuse border tensions between the broken-up countries.

Amr will deliver a message from Egypt’s military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, said Mohamed Morsy, assistant foreign minister for Sudanese affairs.

The minister will hold talks with senior officials in both countries that will focus on ways to solve the recent dispute over the oil-rich Heglig region and how to achieve a solution for all other pending issues, Morsy told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Amr had, over two days, made phone calls with his counterparts in Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia to coordinate efforts to defuse the tensions.

Military clashes have been escalating over the past days between the two countries. The dispute centers on Heglig, a region occupied by South Sudan that accounts for half of Sudan’s oil production.

As news reports had warned of increasing prospects of a war between both countries, the United Nations, the African Union and other world powers called for self-restraint.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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