German foreign minister to visit Sudan

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German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was due later Wednesday to embark on a two-day trip to Sudan that will also include the soon-to-be-independent south and the restive Darfur region, Berlin said.

In Khartoum Westerwelle will meet Sudanese counterpart Ali Ahmad Karti and Vice President Ali Osman Taha and in Juba, set to be the capital of South Sudan from July 9, with president-to-be Salva Kiir, the foreign ministry said.

Westerwelle, who postponed a trip last week due to a volcanic ash cloud over Eritrea, will also visit the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) and the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

"There are still a whole range of open questions between the north and the south to be resolved," a foreign ministry spokesman said, including the sharing of oil revenues and recent unrest in border areas.

"Germany will chair the UN Security Council for a whole month in July, and one of our tasks will be steering the process of accepting South Sudan into the United Nations," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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