December 18, 2013 / 3:50 PM / 6 years ago

South Sudan president says ready for talks with rival

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir wipes his face during a news conference in Juba December 18, 2013. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said on Wednesday he was ready for any dialogue with the former vice president whom he accused of being behind a coup attempt, Kiir’s spokesman said.

“He was asked whether he would accept any dialogue, and he said he is ready for dialogue,” presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Reuters by telephone.

Kiir, who had been responding to questions at a news conference, said there were no current talks with former Vice President Riek Machar, who he sacked in July. The two men are from rival ethnic groups that have clashed in the past.

Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by John Stonestreet

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