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QATAR-Visit cut short delegates test positive

By James Atem Kuir

Government delegation that had gone to the state of Qatar for bilateral talks have cut short their visit and will be arriving back in Juba today soon, said senior government official, as some members of the group tested positive to coronavirus disease in Doha.

The delegation headed by the Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak Manime – in the company of ministers of ForeignAffairs, Finance and Planning, Investment, Roads and Bridges, Higher Education, Agriculture, Wildlife, and Tourism and Conservation -went to the peninsular Arab country for bilateral talks ahead of President Salva Kiir’s expected state visit to Doha on Saturday.

Media reports on Monday said that at least five members of the team, that also includes the governor of Central Bank, Managing Director of Nilepet, and Secretary-general of the Islamic Council of South Sudan,tested for COVID-19.

However, a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation released last evening confirmed that only MayiikAyii Deng the Foreign Affairs Minister had tested positive for the virus on Monday.

The statement further said that other members of the teams had their samples taken for testing but were yet to receive the results.

Deng Dau Deng the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation who spoke to Juba Monitor yesterday, hours before the statement came out, said the visit had been called off because ‘ the president will be attending to the regional situation in Ethiopia and Sudan’.

He said the delegation had not had time to engage with their Qatari counterparts and the meetings had been rescheduled to a yet-to-revealed date.

“… all of them are coming back to the country tomorrow (today). The visit has been rescheduled because of the regional situation here. The President has to attend to the situation in Ethiopia and Sudan. The visit of the president will be announced accordingly,” he said.

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