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Sudan Grants China Oil Exploration License

Sudan has granted a petroleum exploration license to China, Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti said after his visiting Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and President Omar al-Bashir held talks in Khartoum.

"President Bashir has granted the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) three promising new petroleum blocs and offered a partnership with the national petroleum company Sudapet in the fields where it operates," Karti said late Monday.

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S. Sudan MPs Sworn In, Speaker Calls for Cooperation

Newly independent South Sudan swore in its MPs on Saturday, two days ahead of parliament's opening session, with the speaker calling for cooperation regardless of background or political affiliation.

"You are the founders of the first ever parliament of the Republic of South Sudan," James Wani Igga told the National Legislative Assembly.

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U.N. Troops Assigned to Monitor Sudan Border

Leaders from Sudan and South Sudan signed an agreement Saturday in Addis Ababa to assign 300 Ethiopian troops to monitor the border separating the two countries.

The U.N.-sanctioned troops are tasked with reporting and resolving disputes along the border. They will be assigned from the disputed Abyei region, where the first of 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers arrived last week.

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Warring Sudan Opposition Party Rejects Disarmament

Leaders of Sudan's main opposition group, whose men are fighting government troops in South Kordofan, on Saturday rejected calls to disarm and said they would negotiate only via an outside third party.

The northern branch of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the ruling party of South Sudan, in a statement also accused the government of seeking to destroy north-south relations just two weeks after formal southern independence.

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Iran 'Respects' South Sudan Independence

Iran "respects" South Sudan's choice of independence, the foreign ministry said on Sunday, less than two weeks after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized partition of Africa's largest nation.

"Now that developments have led to the formation of an independent government in South Sudan, Iran respects the southerners' choice," said a ministry statement carried by the official IRNA news agency.

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Sudan Inks Peace Accord with Darfur Rebels

Sudan's government and a Darfur rebel group, the Liberation and Justice Movement, on Thursday signed a peace accord in Doha, as a key rebel faction rejected the deal.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and leaders of Chad, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Eritrea and Qatar attended the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, a fruit of talks sponsored by the African Union, United Nations and Arab League.

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Netanyahu Welcomes South Sudan Independence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that the Jewish state recognizes South Sudan and wished the world's newest nation "much success."

"Yesterday, a new state was born, South Sudan. I hereby announce that Israel recognizes the Republic of South Sudan," he said. "We wish it much success."

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S. Sudan’s President: A Day Forever Engraved on Our Hearts

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on Saturday told thousands of jubilant southerners that their martyrs had not died in vain and that the newborn nation's Independence Day would always be engraved on their hearts.

"Our martyrs did not die in vain... We have waited for more than 56 years for this day. It is a day that will be forever engraved on our hearts and minds," Kiir said in a speech that was met with roars of approval.

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Nations Welcome World's Newest State South Sudan

World leaders on Saturday hailed the birth of the world's newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan, as a historic event bringing to a close 50 years of conflict in northeastern Africa.

U.S. President Barack Obama led official recognition of the country, calling it "another step forward in Africa's long journey toward opportunity, democracy and justice."

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Bashir: South Sudan Success Will be Our Success

Sudan's Omar al-Bashir said on Saturday that the newly independent Republic of South Sudan's success "will be our success," and renewed his call for an end to U.S. sanctions against his country.

"We fulfill our commitment to help the new state of South Sudan in its first steps, because we want it to succeed, and because its success will be our success," Bashir said in a conciliatory speech to tens of thousands of southerners at the official independence ceremony in Juba.

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