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MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. Moscow hopes for success in the normalization of relations between Khartoum and Juba, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday opening talks with his counterparts from Sudan and South Sudan Ibrahim Ghandour and Barnaba Benjamin.
"In the course of the bilateral meetings we felt sincere interest in fully normalizing relations and establishing cooperation," he said.
"We are convinced that, in spite of all inevitable difficulties in this process and attempts from outside to hinder it, there is every reason to hope the talks will be successful," Lavrov said.
Russia supports active efforts, including those of the African Union, on the full normalization of relations. "We call for solving all the conflict situations and problems in Africa through a dialogue of parties."
Russia’s Foreign Ministry earlier said the inter-Sudanese dialogue at the ministerial level in Moscow is "unprecedented and shows serious interest of Sudan and South Sudan in the partnership and close cooperation with Russia in the issues linked to normalizing relations."
Russia is ready to further provide both logistic and substantial assistance to the inter-Sudanese negotiations, Lavrov said after talks with his counterparts from Sudan and South Sudan.
"Of course, we will be ready in response to the requests of our partners and in line with the efforts taken by mediating mechanisms of the African Union to continue providing not only logistic but also substantial assistance in these talks," Lavrov said.
Lavrov stressed that the African Union, which consists of 54 countries in Africa, continues playing the leading role in the process of the inter-Sudanese settlement. "We will assist this work by not only providing the Moscow venue in addition to the African Union’s venue but also in the UN Security Council’s work where the aspects of this situation are regularly discussed."
The Russian foreign minister said it is the first time then the talks on the inter-Sudanese settlement took place in such a format and thanked his counterparts from Sudan and South Sudan for accepting Russia’s invitation and proposal "to use the Moscow venue to continue the dialogue on the remaining issues in relations between the two countries."
"We felt that Moscow’s venue is useful and convenient for our guests," Lavrov said. "They are interested in using it further and we will be ready for this," he added.
Lavrov said the Russian side was informed about the important decisions taken at the bilateral meeting of Sudan and South Sudan ministers concerning "the need to fully and swiftly implement all the provisions of documents on the inter-Sudanese settlement which have been signed in the past two-three years."