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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

China expresses concern over stalled oil talks between Sudan, South Sudan

(Xinhua)

19:26, December 05, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday said it was concerned that oil negotiations had stalled between Sudan and South Sudan.

"China is concerned about the recent tensions between north and south Sudan, and in particular that negotiations over oil and related issues had stalled," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing.

Hong made the comments as the Sudanese Ministry of Petroleum last Monday said Sudan had decided to halt exportation of South Sudan's oil through its territories until South Sudan pays for four months' arrears amounting to 727 million U.S. dollars.

The decision prompted tension between Sudan and South Sudan regarding sharing the revenues of the oil which is produced in the south and exported through Sudan's pipeline and harbors.

Later last week, Sabir Mohamed al-Hassan, Sudan's chief negotiator on oil issues, said Sudan will not halt South Sudan's oil exportation through its facilities.

Calling oil the economic lifeline of Sudan and South Sudan, Hong said it is in the common interests of both countries to maintain normal oil production.

"We expect both sides to exercise calm and restraint, resolve disputes through consultations and negotiations and safeguard the peace between north and south Sudan," Hong said.

Liu Guijin, China's special envoy for African affairs, will visit Sudan and South Sudan in the coming days to promote the talks between the two countries, Hong said.

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