KHARTOUM/JUBA - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will visit South Sudan on Friday for the first time since Africa's once-largest country split in 2011, raising hope the two long-time adversaries will take steps to establish peaceful co-existence.
They agreed in March to resume cross-border oil flows and take steps to defuse tension that has plagued them since South Sudan's independence in July 2011 following a treaty which ended decades of civil war.
They still have not agreed who owns Abyei province and other regions along their disputed 2,000-km (1,200-mile) border.
Bashir had planned to visit Juba a year ago but cancelled when fighting erupted along their border and almost flared into full-scale war.
Bashir, travelling with a large delegation, and his southern counterpart Salva Kiir will discuss oil and security deals, border trade as well as remaining territorial conflicts, South Sudanese Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said.