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Sudan, Eritrea Agree to Resume Diplomatic Relations
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Sudan and Eritrea agreed on Monday to resume their diplomatic relations which were severed in 1995, a senior Sudanese official announced.

Sudanese Presidential Advisor Mustafa Osman Ismail made the announcement at a press conference following meetings involving visiting Eritrean President Assias Afworeki with Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, Vice President Silva Kiir Mayardit and other government officials.

Ismail said that the two parties had stressed their commitment to making the relations between the two neighboring countries a model of unity between peoples with different cultures but common interests.

He said that the talks between the two parties affirmed their keenness to consolidate their bilateral relations in political, economic and other fields, adding that Eritrea's new ambassador to Sudan had arrived in Khartoum recently and his government would nominate its ambassador to Eritrea very soon.

"The conflicts, either internal ones or those between the regional states, constitute the biggest threat to the security and stability of the region," the Sudanese official said.

He added that foreign intervention in the conflicts had negatively affected the situation in the Horn of Africa, and called on all the countries in that region to unite in adopting plans for the development of that region.

Ismail said that the relations between Sudan and Eritrea would be based on open dialogue and discussion to settle any pending issues and to move towards a new level of cooperation.

Meanwhile, he announced that the Sudanese government and rebels in eastern Sudan would start peace negotiations in the Eritrean capital Asmara on Tuesday evening.

Ismail, who is also the head of the government delegation to the peace talks with the rebel Eastern Front, said that the Eritrean government would play the role of mediator in the peace talks.

The Eritrean president arrived in Khartoum on Monday for his first official visit to Sudan in more than five years.

(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2006)

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