In Ankara, Sudan's FM says he wouldn't object to independence vote
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti said yesterday in Ankara that his government would "not object" if the country's south voted to split from the north in an upcoming referendum. "If a majority of southern Sudan wants to separate from the north, then we won't object," Karti said at a joint press conference following his talks with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Sudan has a road map within a comprehensive peace agreement, Davutoglu said, and when asked about Turkey's stance should Sudan split, he cited a 2005 agreement signed by the two warring parties. What matters is peaceful implementation of the comprehensive agreement, Davutoglu added. Turkey has always favored Sudan's unity, yet if Southern Sudan separated following a referendum, everybody has the duty to take "political, economic and cultural measures to forge a friendly coexistence of these two entities." Turkey's active support for Sudan will continue regardless of whether the country stays together or separates, he said, and pledged Ankara's commitment to peace, welfare and stability for the Sudanese people. "We want economic, cultural and social togetherness to continue even if a political separation takes place," he said. On joint African Union-UN mediation working to secure a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, Davutoglu said that Turkey has confirmed its support for these efforts. "Since Turkey has historical ties with all parties, we're ready to do our best for a peaceful resolution of this process within the framework of Sudan's unity, and we're cooperating closely with Qatar," he said, adding that Turkey would be represented at an upcoming conference on Eastern Sudan held in Qatar. "Because Sudanese peace means African peace, this means humanity's peace. We will support these efforts in the strongest way," he added.