Newest nation to have first embassy in UAE

DUBAI - The South Sudan government will establish its first embassy in Abu Dhabi, following its declaration of independence on July 9, the breakaway republic’s Vice-President Riek Machar said in Dubai on Tuesday.

By Shafaat Ahmed

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Published: Thu 30 Jun 2011, 12:35 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:41 AM

On a visit to the UAE to seek support for what would be the newest nation in the world in less than two weeks, Machar said his country would want to maintain a special relationship with the emirates just as the United Sudan did.

“Our Embassy in Abu Dhabi will be the first we would have in the world. Right now we have small missions and outposts in some countries, but this would be the first full-fledged embassy. We came to the UAE first because the UAE has always helped our just cause, so we want to maintain a special relationship with the emirates,” said the Vic-President of the Republic of Southern Sudan (RoSS).

He also revealed that the RoSS government is planning to organise an economic and investment conference in the country with the help of the UAE in October, the venue and date of which would be decided following the declaration of independence.

“The declaration of independence would open new avenues of opportunity for investment and growth, there is tremendous potential in our country and want to partner with the UAE in realising this potential,” he added.

Calling the UAE a gateway to the world and particularly the Arab and Islamic world, Machar said his government is looking at every way of strengthening ties between the two countries and benefitting from the UAE’s enormous growth and learn from the country’s story of meteoric rise.

The first two steps in this regard would be connecting the two places directly and establishment of South Sudan Trade Centre in Dubai, he observed.

He said a direct air route between RoSS capital Juba and Abu Dhabi/Dubai would start before the start of the planned investment conference in October, which would also pave way for a trade centre. Currently, South Sudanese travel through Khartoum or Nairobi and take a connecting flight from there as there is no direct flights from the country to most part of the world.

“We discussed these and several other issues including potential UAE investment in RoSS with UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash and we have received a positive response,” informed Machar, who has extended an invitation for the independence ceremony to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Shedding light on the already ‘fruitful’ personal ties between the two countries he said: “There are already a lot of South Sudanese people in the UAE and independence would mean more educated Arabic speaking people would move between the two countries more freely for business, leisure as well as employment.”

The Southern, mainly non-Arab, region of Sudan will formally gain independence from North on July 9, following a ‘Yes’ vote to a referendum last January.

The South and North Sudan have fought decades of bloody wars which ended through a peace agreement in 2005. However, tensions continue to flare up over the oil sharing agreement and fire fights between opposing security forces in the border regions of Abyei and Kordofan have intensified lately, regions where there is concentration of oil and claimed by both the parties.

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