World Bulletin / News Desk
Sudan made its first offer to hold direct talks with rebels on its border with South Sudan on Wednesday.
Sudan Defence Minister Abdel Raheem Mohammed Hussein said Khartoum would be willing to have discussions with the SPLM-North rebel group in its Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, providing the dialogue was based on protocols set out in a 2005 peace agreement with South Sudan.
"We are ready to meet with the northern sector (of the SPLM), on the condition that the dialogue and discussion is based on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the protocol for the two areas as a reference," Hussein told reporters at Khartoum's airport on Wednesday.
Sudan has previously refused to meet the rebels and accused South Sudan of backing the SPLM-N, a former ally of the SPLM, whose decades-long war with Khartoum resulted in the 2005 peace deal and the secession of South Sudan in 2011.
The SPLM-N rebellion in Blue Nile and South Kordofan to overthrow the rule of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir began shortly after secession.
South Sudan denies backing the SPLM-N.
There was no immediate comment from the SPLM-N, but leaders have previously said they would be willing to talk to Sudanese officials in Addis Ababa, where the African Union has been brokering talks between Sudan and South Sudan.Last Mod: 20 Mart 2013, 15:36