NEW YORK — The United States on Thursday welcomed the recent agreement between Sudan and South Sudan on oil revenue payments, but encouraged both sides to return to the negotiating table to resolve their outstanding issues.
The United Nations Security Council met privately to hear the latest information on talks between Sudan and South Sudan from African Union chief mediator, Thabo Mbeki, and U.N. envoy, Haile Menkerios. After the meeting, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice welcomed the recent accord on oil revenue, though she said it is vitally important that all such agreements are fully implemented.
The Security Council had set a deadline of August 2 for Sudan and South Sudan to resolve all their differences. Rice called on both sides to address the other issues.
“There clearly are issues, critical issues like the security along the border, demilitarization, the disputed areas, Abyei, that remain unresolved. And we are looking to the two parties to resolve those issues in very short order and we will be ready to respond to their actions,” said Rice.
Sudan’s ambassador, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, told reporters that his country and South Sudan have already addressed all issues in their talks.
“It is not correct that they haven’t addressed some of them. And there is a very good progress. From our part, from the government of Sudan, we have been very forthcoming; we have proposed very positive proposals,” said Osman.
U.S. Ambassador Rice said it is clear the Security Council attaches great urgency to the talks between Sudan and South Sudan.
“Nobody is expecting this to draw itself out over a period of months without a response from the council. No,quite the contrary. But we are also realistic. The aim is to get the issues resolved,” said Rice.
Rice said the two sides in the talks have to move quickly, adding that the Security Council and the African Union intend to hold the parties accountable for their actions.