Sudan, Chad agree 'to turn page'

al-Beshir said that Sudan had "completely turned the page" in its conflict with Chad.

Sudan, Chad agree 'to turn page'

Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir said on Tuesday that Sudan had "completely turned the page" in its conflict with Chad and was ready to fully normalise relations with its neighbour.

"I say to our people in Sudan and in Chad, we have completely turned the page on problems between us," Beshir said during a joint press conference with Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno who was on his first visit to Sudan since 2004.

Chadian President Idriss Deby made a surprise visit to Khartoum for talks with President al-Bashir on Monday after relations between the African oil producers had hit rock bottom with each capital supporting rebels fighting the other's governments.

"I came with an open heart and hands outstretched to turn a new page in Sudanese-Chadian relations," Deby told a gathering of Chadian and Sudanese nationals in Khartoum.

He invited Bashir to visit N'Djamena in the coming days.

"This visit has put a definitive end to all the problems between Sudan and Chad," Bashir told journalists after the talks. He said Sudanese and Chadian authorities and the presidents themselves would now be in regular direct contact.

Bashir's adviser, Ghazi Salaheddin, told reporters the two were working to get a joint border patrol force on the ground and would undertake joint development projects including a road between Abeche in Chad and el-Geneina in Darfur, where the force's head quarters would be.

He said a protocol signed by both sides stated that neither country would host rebel forces from the other side and that those insurgents would be encouraged to join electoral or political processes.

Both presidents said they supported the Darfur peace process taking place in Qatar, and chief mediator Djibril Bassole in Khartoum welcomed the visit.

"This visit will help the Doha talks definitely," he told Reuters. "Now that all the belligerents are in Doha we'll keep them there until we reach something."

"I hope we will reach something by the end of April. At least if we reach some kind of framework agreement before the election that could help the entire peace process."

Bashir is standing in Sudan's first democratic elections in 24 years, which are due in April.


Agencies

Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2010, 12:23
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