Bashir says he wants warm relations with South Sudanese

By REUTERS
May 6, 2012 18:46

 
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KHARTOUM - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Sunday he would not allow conflict with South Sudan to overshadow "strategic relations" with its people, striking a less confrontational tone over a crisis that has raised fears of war.

After South Sudan seized the contested Heglig oilfield last month, Bashir vowed to free the South's citizens from the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement whom he called "insects".

On Sunday Bashir said South Sudanese government's "infringements" on Sudanese territory "and their muddying of the neighborly, brotherly relations between the two countries in a blatant way will not deflect us from our view of the future and our strategic relations with the people of South Sudan".

"... We look with wisdom and foresight to well-established relations between us and the people of South Sudan," said Bashir, speaking in an uncharacteristically mild manner, at a conference to discuss a five-year national strategic plan.

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