Sudan, South Sudan agree on joint move to relieve debts
Sudan and South Sudan on Monday agreed on joint move for debts exemption.
The agreement was reached between Sudan's Finance Minister Mohamed Osman Al-Rikabi and his South Sudanese counterpart Stephen Dheiu Dau in Khartoum, Sudan's Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The two ministers further agreed to open the joint border crossings, encourage trade between the two countries and facilitate customs and banking procedures as well as movement of the citizens and flow of commodities and services.
They stressed keenness to intensify consultations to enhance the economic and trade ties.
On Sept. 27, 2012, the two countries signed an agreement to settle their external debts. The agreement stipulated to form a joint mechanism to make contacts with the international community to exempt the two countries' external debts within two years.
The agreement also stipulated that if the mechanism failed to resolve the issue, the two countries should share the debts.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Sudan's external debts amounted to around 50 billion U.S. dollars.
The Sudanese government says it has become eligible to have its debts relieved under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
In 1996, the IMF and the World Bank launched the HIPC Initiative to create a framework for all creditors, including multilateral creditors, to provide debt relief to the world's poorest and most heavily indebted countries.