|Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir at the opening of the 19th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, July 15, 2012. (Xinhua/Li Qihua)|
Sudanese government on Wednesday denied allegations that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has refused to participate in a summit with his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir Mayardit called for by African Union mediator in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
"What has been circulated by media organs that al-Bashir has rejected the invitation by the head of the African Union High- level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki for a summit between Sudan and South Sudan presidents is untrue," Al- Obaid Ahmed Mirrawih, spokesman of Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Xinhua. "The summit, which was supposed to be held Wednesday, coincided with external obligations for President al-Bashir, including his current visit to Qatar. The African mediation was understanding to this matter and may arrange for the summit later," he added.
He went on saying that "the president does not mind meeting Salva Kiir, but al-Bashir believes that the summit should be held under positive circumstances to ensure it would be fruitful, i.e. it should be convened after the two sides' negotiating delegations manage to narrow their stances, and then leave the difficult issues for the two presidents to resolve." Local media on Wednesday reported that the Sudanese president had apologized for not accepting the invitation by the AU mediator Mbeki for a summit with South Sudan president scheduled Wednesday in Addis Ababa. Sudan and South Sudan have been negotiating in the Ethiopian capital under the African Union mediation over many outstanding issues, including oil, the border demarcation and the affiliation of disputed oil-rich area of Abyei. On May 2, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution giving the two countries three months to settle their differences or hence face sanctions. (Xinhua)