South Sudanese President Silva Kiir has invited Egypt to participate in the upcoming Juba-hosted peace talks between the Sudanese government and armed groups, the Egyptian presidency announced Saturday.
The presidency said the invitation was extended during a Cairo meeting between President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and South Sudan's electricity minister and personal envoy of Kiir, Dhieu Mathok Diing.
The next Juba meeting comes as a continuation of a meeting held under Egyptian sponsorship in September in Egypt's Ain Sokhna between the main armed groups forming the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).
The meeting focused on procedural arrangements and preparations to begin negotiations with Sudan's transitional government.
Among groups who attended the meeting were the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi, the Justice and Equality Movement headed by Gebril Ibrahim, and Nidaa Sudan.
The Egyptian president underlined the importance to Egypt of supporting the stability of Sudan given historical and special relations between the countries.
The invitation comes ahead of planned peace talks in the upcoming few days between the Sudanese government and rebel leaders after both sides signed an initial agreement on the anticipated talks in September.
The talks are set to last for two months, until mid-December, leaders from both sides said last month.
Thousands have been killed in Sudan’s civil wars, including the dispute in the western Darfur region where rebels fought against former President Omar Al-Bashir’s government since 2003.