Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Republic of South Sudan

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Meets with EU Head to Discuss Regional Issues and Maritime Security

Juba, 4th March 2024 (MFA&IC) – The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Ramadan Mohammed Abdallah Goc, held a productive meeting today with H.E Amb. Timo Olkkonen, the head of the European Union in South Sudan.

Amb. Olkkonen spoke to the media after the meeting, expressing his pleasure at being back in the ministry and emphasizing the constructive nature of the discussions. The purpose of the meeting was to address regional issues, particularly the situation in the Red Sea and the threat posed by Houthi activities in blocking international shipping. The EU shared details about the actions it is taking to safeguard maritime traffic in the region and discussed the potential impact on South Sudan.

The conversation also touched upon the ongoing conflict in Sudan, which has intensified and caused devastating conditions for the Sudanese people, and its impact on South Sudan.

Amb. Olkkonen underscored the cooperation between the EU and South Sudan, highlighting the need for collaboration between the international community and South Sudan in relation to the upcoming elections in the country.

In response, Amb. Deng Deng Nhial, the Director-General for Bilateral Relations, described the meeting as constructive. The key topics discussed included the situation in the Red Sea, the EU’s recently passed maritime security measures of February 8, and the forthcoming elections scheduled for the end of the year.

Amb. Deng said the Deputy Minister Goc emphasized the importance of the maritime security issue to South Sudan, as the country relies on the Red Sea for the transportation of goods. He urged the EU delegation to engage with the P5 countries of the United Nations and the African Union to ensure a unified approach to maritime security.

The meeting concluded with a commitment to continued cooperation and dialogue between South Sudan and the European Union to address regional challenges and enhance bilateral relations.