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Talks Between North, South Sudan Adjourn Without Resolution

A meeting between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and southern Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir has ended without an agreement on getting former southern rebels to rejoin the government.

Presidential spokesman Mahjub Fadl Badri told reporters Thursday the two agreed to meet again to resolve the impasse. He did not say when that meeting will take place.

Last week, 18 southern ministers from the former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement withdrew from the Sudanese government, saying Khartoum had not honored its commitments to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bashir made six changes to his Cabinet, including the removal of Lam Akol as foreign minister. The former southern rebels considered Akol too close to Mr. Bashir's ruling party.

But, while the Cabinet reshuffle was one of their demands, the southern leaders say they are not yet ready to rejoin the government.

The SPLM says the government still must withdraw its troops from north-south border regions and end the harassment of SPLM officials in the capital, Khartoum.

The two sides blame each other for failures in implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended Sudan's north-south civil war. But they both say they do not want a return to conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.