24 June 2011 – German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle visited Juba today to acquaint himself with current political and economic developments facing Southern Sudan.
Briefing journalists at the presidential office as he and his seven-person delegation concluded their mission, Mr. Westerwelle said his country looked forward to the south's independence on 9 July and was ready to support the new nation.
"Independence is one thing but the work will start on 9 July," Mr. Westerwelle said. "It is hard work to build a state, something we would like to support. South Sudan is rich with natural resources that require hard work ... to support the people of the state."
Germany would support the South not only with advice but also with practical work, the foreign minister said.
"We have offered our advice on the constitutional process regarding establishment of structures of a new state that will benefit the people and help them better their personal lives and the destiny of their families," Mr. Westerwelle said.
Regarding relations between northern and southern Sudan, he said flexibility was needed between the regions for peace to prevail. "I am convinced that it is necessary that both sides have enough flexibility to find peaceful solutions."
President Kiir said he had spoken with the foreign minister about various issues, including difficulties in implementing provisions of the Abyei Protocol, ongoing fighting in Southern Kordofan State, demarcation of the north-south border and Blue Nile State.
The president said the European Union's (EU) recognition of independence was a positive step towards South Sudan's future. He welcomed a process to admit the new nation into the international community, which would be headed by the EU in the UN Security Council on 13 July.
Mr. Kiir requested Germany to support the people of South Sudan by training them in areas like capacity building, law enforcement, democracy (how it works) and building a strong economy.
For a strong economy, both South and North Sudan should be flexible in maintaining soft borders that would allow free movement of people and easy flow of goods between the two countries," the president said.
"Flexibility is needed from both sides," Mr. Kiir added. "We do not need one side to be rigid and the other side to be flexible – they will never meet."