Jan.2 - Sudan's Bashir promises to renew ties with its neighbor South Sudan after months of tensions and conflict. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir said on Tuesday that he was ready to build good ties with former civil war foe South Sudan and open the border for trade and travellers. At a rally marking the 57th anniversary of Sudan's independence, Bashir said he was ready to adopt all pending agreements including the setting up of a demilitarised border zone, signalling possible concessions ahead of a summit of the two leaders which will be a test whether the African neighbours can mend ties and restore vital oil flows. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SUDAN'S PRESIDENT, OMAR AL-BASHIR, SAYING: "We are ready to establish good neighbouring and cooperative relations besides implementing all the agreements signed in Addis Ababa and signed before to transform the borders between us and the Republic of South Sudan into borders that allow exchange and social connections." The comments raised hopes of a breakthrough at a summit slated for later this month. The leaders of the two Sudans are due to hold a meeting brokered by the African Union to secure their disputed border after both African neighbours came close to war April.