By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September, 20,2010 (ADDIS ABABA) — Ethiopian Prime Minster Meles Zenawi on Sunday made a short visit to Khartoum where he was briefed the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, on the current state of play in his country.
According to the official Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency (ERTA), the Ethiopian premier made a stop in Khartoum while on his way to New York to attend the sixty-fifth session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
Meles and al-Bashir discussed the state of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the southern Sudan Referendum and bilateral and regional issues
The referendum is a stipulation of the CPA, in which northern and southern Sudan agreed to lay down arms after 22 years of civil war. The vote, scheduled for January 2011, will give the southern Sudanese the chance to remain united with northern Sudan or to form a new country. Preparations for the referendum are significantly behind schedule.
Meles on the occasion noted that Sudan, working together with peace loving nations in the Horn of Africa, could contribute greatly to the stability of the region
Ethiopian First Lady Azeb Mesfin spoke with her Sudanese counterpart during the visit.
Meles left for New York as per the invitation extended to him by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
World leaders convene in New York on Tuesday at 3pm for a UN summit on the global goals of fighting poverty, hunger and disease. The summit will review achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and deliberate on development alternatives.
20-22 September the leaders will evaluate the progress made towards the MDGs they signed up for over a decade ago, including halving extreme poverty by 2015.
Almost 150 heads of state are expected to attend the meeting, the UN said, which comes as many donor countries are tightening purse-strings in the wake of large fiscal deficits, rising debts and the global economic crisis.