Cooperation rather than confrontation

A business conference, which took place at the Federal Foreign Office on 29 January, aims to support the peace process between South Sudan and the Sudan. “There can be no security without economic development, and no economic development without security,” Foreign Minister Westerwelle said. This, he added, was the reason to blaze a new trail with a German‑Sudanese‑South Sudanese trilateral conference.

The German‑African Business Association and the Ghorfa Arab‑German Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized the conference, which aims to support the African Union‑mediated peace process between the Sudan and South Sudan. High‑level Sudanese and South Sudanese delegations took part in the one‑day conference events. Representatives of various ministries and authorities presented their countries’ plans in the areas of construction, energy and water, health, education and agriculture.

Continuing the peace process

Westerwelle talking with Ali Karti

Westerwelle talking with Ali Karti
© Photothek / Th. Köhler

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Westerwelle talking with Ali Karti

Westerwelle talking with Ali Karti

Westerwelle talking with Ali Karti

Before the conference, Foreign Minister Westerwelle met with his Sudanese counterpart Ali Karti. During their talks, Foreign Minister Westerwelle emphatically pressed for the implementation of the peace agreement with South Sudan and for respect for human rights and fundamental liberties in the Sudan.

At the conference opening he said that Germany would continue to support and encourage the peace process. He went on to say that the two countries needed to come together to cooperate on the border which was drawn in 2011, and that cross‑border trade and traffic needed to resume. “Cooperation isn’t always easy, but it’s always more promising than confrontation,” Westerwelle said.

He added that economic progress would play a vital role alongside political dialogue, as peace was always closely related to economic ties and development. Beyond this, he continued, poverty and suffering often provided fertile ground for extremism. Sudanese Foreign Minister Karti thanked Germany for its longstanding engagement in the region and offered his assurance that the Sudan would adhere to the peace agreement with South Sudan.

South Sudan gained its independence from the Sudan in July 2011 and became the 193rd country to be admitted to the United Nations. In 2005, a peace agreement ended a decades‑long civil war in the country. However, certain key issues remain contentious: the two countries disagree on how to divide up oil revenues and on the exact demarcation of the border. Violent clashes have repeatedly occurred on the border in the past year.

Last updated 28.01.2013

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