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South Sudan requests to join Arab League

Egypt's foreign minister visited South Sudan's president in Juba.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry has met South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to discuss Juba's request to join the Cairo-based Arab League, according to a foreign ministry statement.

The meeting comes in the wake of a brief Africa tour by Shukry, during which he met Kiir in the South Sudanese capital on Monday.

Translation: South Sudanese President Salva Kiir reads a letter from President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi delivered by the foreign minister in Juba today.

Regional issues 

According to the ministry statement, the two men also discussed means of enhancing South Sudan-Egypt relations and "regional issues of common concern", including ongoing negotiations over Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam project.

Monday's meeting also reportedly saw an agreement signed establishing a "mechanism for political consultation" between Cairo and Juba, while Shukry also conveyed a message to Kiir - the contents of which were not disclosed - from the Egyptian president.

Since 2013, South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan following a 2011 popular referendum, has remained the scene of a bloody civil war pitting government forces against armed opposition groups.

A split between South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar escalated into a military conflict in December 2013.

Despite a 2015 peace deal signed between the two sides, the conflict - in which some 10,000 people are estimated to have been killed - remains ongoing.

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