Sudan to sign peace agreement before year-end

Dec. 21 (Xinhua)

Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir confirmed here Monday his government's determination to sign a final peace agreement with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) before the end of th is year, the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) reported.

El-Bashir made the statement during a meeting with visiting Kenyan Foreign Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, SUNA said.

The president praised Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and the Kenyan leadership for their effort to realize peace in southern Sudan and for the African Union mission they contributed to observe ceasefire in the western region of Darfur.

SUNA quoted Mwakwere as saying that he had delivered a verbal message of President Kibaki to El-Bashir, expressing Kenya's keenness to help Sudan reach the final peace agreement by the end of this year.

The Kenyan foreign minister arrived in Khartoum on Sunday evening for an official visit, during which he would hold talks with Sudanese officials on bilateral relations and the ongoing peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and SPLA in Naivasha, Kenya.