Sudan's al-Bashir congratulates South Sudan on independence

Photo: Sudan's al-Bashir congratulates South Sudan on independence / Arab World

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir congratulated South Sudan on its independence Saturday, during a special ceremony in Juba, and offered his nation's support to the world's newest country, dpa reported.

"We congratulate our brothers in the south for the establishment of their new state and for achieving their dream," said al-Bashir.

"The will of the people of the south must be respected," he added. In January, southerners voted to break away from the north and become independent, following years of civil conflict.

"The Republic of Sudan stands side by side with this new nation. We assert that we are ready to support the institutions of the newly born state with our expertise, in any field they ask," said the president of the new country's northern neighbour.

He also called on US President Barack Obama to lift sanctions against Khartoum, as it had recognised Juba and the new independent state.

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