Sudan has informed Moscow of its readiness to start negotiations with South Sudan to settle their conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
Lavrov’s statement came after his talks on Monday with his Sudanese counterpart Ali Karti.
“We have heard from our Sudanese colleagues that they are ready immediately to start talks, provided that South Sudan also responds to this,” Lavrov said.
Karti’s working visit to Moscow is being held against a background of an aggravating situation on the border between Sudan and South Sudan and active regional and international efforts aimed at preventing a new hotbed of military confrontation from appearing.
Moscow wants both sides to act exclusively on the basis of international law, with the compliance of all requirements of international institutions, including the United Nations, Lavrov said, adding that a UN resolution on Sudan should be balanced and objective.
“Our position on this resolution is that it should really reflect what each of the sides does or does not do,” Lavrov said.
South Sudan won independence in 2011 in a referendum that came as part of a peace deal to end decades of civil war. However, fighting still rages in the disputed territory along the border with Sudan. Thousands are feared dead in a series of recent tribal clashes in the country.
On April 10, South Sudan forces invaded the oil-producing border region of Heglig, which the 2009 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague included in Sudan’s South Kordofan state. Heglig accounts for 60,000 out of 115,000 barrels of oil produced in Sudan daily.
The SUNA news agency said on Friday the Sudanese armed forces retook Heglig, the main city in the eponymous disputed oil district, a week after the South Sudanese armed forces entered the area.