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Sudan wants legal rights, not South Sudan's grant: president

(Xinhua)

16:09, February 13, 2012

GADARIF, Sudan, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir said Sunday that his country was not awaiting a financial grant from South Sudan, but demanding its legal rights to collect fees for transiting the south's oil with its infrastructures.

"We are not waiting for a financial grant to be paid to us by South Sudan government for exporting its oil through our territories, but we are demanding our legal financial rights," said al-Bashir when addressing a rally in eastern Sudan.

"We will not relinquish those rights and the south has only two options: either to pay us our financial rights or search for another means to export its oil through any country that it selects. It is up to it," added al-Bashir.

The Sudanese president further reiterated that his country would not be affected by South Sudan's decision to stop its oil pumping and exportation through Sudan's pipeline.

"The (Sudanese) government has not been toppled until now and it will not be toppled. Our economy is strong until now. We have adopted the appropriate measures and we will not be affected by the decision of South Sudan government," he said.

Sudan and South Sudan are negotiating in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa under the African Union's patronage to reach a deal in their dispute over the oil issue.

South Sudan decided on Jan. 20 to stop exporting crude oil through Sudan's pipeline, after Khartoum started to deduct the oil for what it said was the due transit fees.

With South Sudan's independence on July 9, 2011, Sudan lost two thirds of its oil resources, and the two sides have not yet resolved their difference over the sharing of the oil resources.

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