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Paet: Estonia Endorses Independence of Southern Sudan

People standing in line for the January referendum on Southern Sudan's statehood
People standing in line for the January referendum on Southern Sudan's statehood Source: Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The most important tasks to be completed before proclaiming the national sovereignty in Southern Sudan are restoring the peace and solving the disagreements between Southern and Northern Sudan, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet at the EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

The European Union has to continue to mediate talks to ensure compliance to the peace treaty between North and South and facilitate the peaceful creation of statehood in Southern Sudan, Paet said.

"After Southern Sudan proclaims its independence, Estonia is prepared to recognize the country's sovereignty and establish diplomatic relations," he said.

Paet said that the actual situation on the border between the Republic of Sudan and its former autonomous southern province has grown worse in recent months, with more than 40,000 people forced to leave their homes and the Northern Sudanese air force carrying out several raids against southern troops.

Deliveries of humanitarian aid, Paet said, have been seriously hampered by the conflict. However, the EU now has a new strategy in place for delivering humanitarian aid to those who need it the most in both Northern and Southern Sudan, he said, meaning first and foremost the civilian population.

Estonia is also backing the establishment of an EU diplomatic mission in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan.

Following the January 2011 plebiscite, Southern Sudan is set to become an independent state on July 9.


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