Sudan's South African envoy urges support for referendum

08:55, January 14, 2011      

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Sudan's envoy to South Africa on Thursday called for international support for the southern Sudan, where a week-long referendum on possible secession is underway.

According to Talk Radio 702 in Johannesburg, Ambassador Ali Yousif Ahmed Al Sharif told a symposium at the South African Institute for International Affairs that it was important the new country should get on well with its neighbors.

He said the inevitability of southern Sudan seceding after the referendum this week was accepted by the Sudanese government.

"We are only wishing the south all the best," said Al Sharif.

He added that the international community should support the new state in the south, with relations not only with the north or the rest of Sudan, but also with the neighbors.

The only export route for oil, which earns around 98 percent of the new country's revenue, would run through Khartoum to Port Sudan in the north, Al Sharif said.

He explained that since it was not possible to construct an alternative route for economic reasons, the two countries, and north and south, will have to cooperate.

Source: Xinhua
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