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Presidents of Sudan, S. Sudan Meet in Juba

Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, says he wants normal relations with South Sudan, in comments made on his first visit to that country since it became independent nearly two years ago.

After meeting with his South Sudanese counterpart, Salva Kiir, in Juba Friday, Mr. Bashir said the two presidents have agreed to reopen their shared border.

At a press conference full of laughter, Mr. Bashir promised peace and said that dialogue, rather than violence, was the only way to ensure having two Sudans.

Mr. Kiir said the two leaders will continue talks on the contested region of Abyei, a border area that has been the source of a long-running dispute between the countries.

Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have recently warmed following decades of civil war and a tumultuous relationship that nearly led to a new war last year.



Last week, South Sudan re-launched crude oil production, after a shutdown of more than a year prompted by what the south considered excessive fees to use northern pipelines.

The two countries have been at odds since South Sudan won independence from the north in 2011, after decades of civil war. Their armies clashed along the border last year amid escalating disputes over the pipeline fees, border demarcation, and which side controls revenue-producing oil fields.

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