Iran Pledges to Use NAM Capacity to Resolve Differences between Sudan, South Sudan
Fars NA – TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran hoped for the peaceful settlement of the present dispute between Sudan and South Sudan, and pledged to use the capacity of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in this regard.
The announcement was made by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi to reporters on Monday and on the sidelines of the 20th African Union (AU) Summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
Commenting on the disputes between Sudan and South Sudan, Salehi expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to help resolve the differences between the two African neighbors.
As the current chair of the NAM, Iran is prepared to help settle the dispute between the two countries, Salehi said.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to use the capacity of NAM to resolve the issues and problems between the two countries,” Salehi added.
NAM is comprised of some 120 member states and 17 observer countries.
NAM is an international organization of states considering themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. NAM is the largest grouping of countries outside of the United Nations.
NAM member states represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations’ members and comprise 55% of the world population, particularly countries considered to be developing or part of the Third World.
Tehran received NAM rotating presidency at the opening ceremony on August 26 from Egypt for a period of three years.
Early in December, Sudan’s Presidential Aide Nafie Ali Nafie warned that the African Union’s proposal for the US involvement in the settlement of disputes between Sudan and South Sudan over the Abyei oil region could spark war between the two countries.
“The African Union’s proposal for the settlement of the disputed area of Abyei would causes an explosion in the region and may result in a war between the two countries (Sudan and South Sudan),” Russia al-Youm quoted Nafie as saying in a press conference in Moscow at the time.
“The United States’ direct interference is the main problem in Abyei dispute,” he said, and stressed that the AU’s proposal could not lead to peace and improved relations between the two countries.
Nafie noted that the AU proposal would fuel the conflicts among Abyei’s tribes and would eventually lead to war between the two countries.
People in Northern Abyei held protest rallies 10 days ago to show anger at their banning from participation in a referendum on the oil-rich region.
The Sudanese government has recently rejected the proposal made by Head of the African Union’s Panel on Sudan-South Sudan negotiations Thabo Mbeki to resolve disputes on Abyei.
The African Union, which has been mediating talks between the Sudan and South Sudan who fought bitter border battles in April and May, gave both sides six weeks from October 24 to reach a deal on Abyei.
The Abyei Area is an area of 10,546 square kilometers in Sudan accorded “special administrative status” by the 2004 Protocol on the Resolution of the Abyei Conflict in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the Second Sudanese Civil War. The capital of Abyei Area is Abyei Town. The area is claimed by South Sudan but currently controlled by Sudan’s government.