KHARTOUM, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese people are awaiting a summit between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir Mayardit, slated for Friday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, which observers regarded it as " crossroads meeting" to overcome issues of difference between the two countries.
The summit will try to find solution to the outstanding issues between the two countries and remove the barriers which hamper the implementation of a cooperation agreement signed earlier by the two countries in Addis Ababa.
Sudanese observers regarded Al-Bashir-Kiir summit as the last chance and a crossroad for the leadership of the two sides to settle their differences within the African framework.
"No doubt this summit constitutes a last chance for the two sides to overcome their differences. Besides, under the period set by the African Union for the two sides to resolve their issues or refer the file to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the two sides should achieve a positive breakthrough," Abdul-Ghader Adlan, a Sudanese political analyst, told Xinhua.
"This Addis Ababa summit could be regarded as crossroads meeting because there are no many choices before the two presidents. They either resolve all the issues or get ready to refer the file to the UNSC, which would not be in the interest of both countries," he added.
Adlan further said the two presidents' agreement to hold a summit represented a positive indicator of their sincere willingness to settle the issues of difference, saying "I believe the two sides maintain real desire to overcome the state of disagreement which hampered establishment of normal ties between the two countries."
Adlan pointed out that the most prominent issues of difference are represented in the Abyei file, cessation of hostilities and stoppage of support for the armed movements, saying "the real barriers are represented in Abyei and Mile 14 area."
Abdul-Hameed Awad, deputy editor-in-chief of Sudan's Al-Qarar daily, expressed a cautious optimism over possibility of success for the Sudan-South Sudan presidents' summit in Addis Ababa Friday.
"There is a possibility for the summit to achieve positive results, but it remains important to implement what the two sides are to agree on," Awad told Xinhua.
In September last year, Sudan and South Sudan signed a package of agreements on various issues at the conclusion of a presidential summit between the two countries' presidents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Though over three months have elapsed since the signing of the cooperation agreement, the two sides have failed to agree on many issues including border demarcation, deployment of troops on their joint border and breaking the link between South Sudan's army and armed groups fighting the Sudanese government.
Khartoum is demanding Juba to demobilize all the northern troops within the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Sudan, including those from South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas.
South Sudan was expected to resume the pumping of its oil and export it through Sudan's territories by mid-December, but the process has not started as Sudan adheres to its stance that it will not allow South Sudan's oil to pass through its territories until the security issues between the two sides are settled.