Thursday, June 27, 2013

China Is Close to Oil Talks Between Sudan and South Sudan


China is close to oil talks between Sudan and South Sudan - Nafie

June 26, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie said China is close to the dialogue between Khartoum and Juba on the implementation of cooperation agreements signed by the two countries last year .

Nafie who is visiting China since Monday acknowledged that the Chinese special envoy for African affairs Zhong Jianhua was in Khartoum recently to discuss Khartoum’s decision to stop the exportation of the South Sudanese crude within 60, if Juba does not stop its alleged support to rebel groups.

In a press conference held Wednesday in Changzhou, southern China, the Sudanese official told reporters that the Chinese envoy who also was in Juba and listened to the positions of the two sides and exhorted them to avoid further tensions.

He added that China also exerts efforts jointly with "other influential countries" in order to settle the conflict.

Nafie is expected to return on Friday or Saturday as he and oil minister Awad Al-Jaz will participate in talks with a South Sudanese delegation led by vice-president Riek Machar.

Sudan says all the agreements signed on 27 September 2012 should be implemented at the same time. The two parties agreed to form joint committee to discuss claims of support to rebel groups but this panel didn’t hold a meeting yet and the rebels, according to Khartoum, continue to be in South Sudan.

The China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), is the main investor in the South Sudanese oil besides India’s ONCG Videsh and Malaysia’s Petronas.

Economic analysts say a new closure of the pipeline will affect the interest of the two countries but also the three foreign companies. CNCP absorbed the one year shutdown but Petronas and ONCG said they were affected by this conflict.

Nafie pointed out that China’s vital interests in Sudan will not be affected by any internal or external conflicts, asserting that the two countries are keen to develop strong strategic relationship.

Asked about the possible impact of Western sanctions on the relations between Sudan and China, Nafie reaffirmed Sudan’s ability to overcome these challenges, adding that the relations between the two countries are based on common interests.

Nafie’s delegation includes different ministers and some 25 businessmen who participated in the Fourth China - West Asia and North Africa SME Cooperation Forum which is held in Changzhou from 25 to 28 June.

Nafie said his delegation signed different agreements to develop railways, agriculture, food processing and other various fields.

He said the participation of the Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in these agreements is a new stage in the cooperation between the two countries. He also praised China’s role in the development of oil industry in Sudan stressing they trained Sudanese nationals to manage this industry by themselves.

He however called to further develop relations between the two countries saying it does not reach the expected level.

"We should work together and become more closer", Nafie said, adding that Sudan has " rich and untapped resources, while China has capital and experience".

He also called to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of SMEs, particularly in the rural development such as agriculture, animal husbandry, and other fields.


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