U.S. senator John Kerry arrives in Khartoum

19:54, October 22, 2010      

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Chairman of U.S. Senate Committee for Foreign Relations Senator John Kerry arrived in Khartoum on Friday on a three-day visit to Sudan to assess the situations in the country ahead of the south Sudan referendum.

"This visit comes as part of following up the issues relating to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), particularly south Sudan referendum," Muawiya Osman Khalid, spokesman of Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Xinhua.

"Kerry will hold talks in south Sudan on Saturday and on Sunday will hold talks in Khartoum with Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Sudanese Presidential Advisor Salah Abdalla Qosh and Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Ahmed Karti," he added.

This is the second visit by Kerry to Sudan since he assumed the chairmanship of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Kerry said in a statement before heading to Sudan that the United States must assist north and south Sudan to find peaceful means towards the future.

A referendum on self-determination for southern Sudan is scheduled to be conducted in January 2011 to decide whether the region should remain united with north Sudan or secede to establish its independent state.

Border demarcation and the country's disputed oil-rich area of Abyei constitute major issues before the south referendum which is to be conducted coincident with the Abyei referendum.

The Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is expected to host on Oct. 27 a meeting between the Sudanese government partners to find settlements for their outstanding issues with the participation of the Sudanese First Vice-President and President of south Sudan government Salva Kiir Mayardit and Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha.

Source: Xinhua


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