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Bashir Accepts South Sudan's Secession

In this still image taken from video, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir speaks during an address on state TV in Khartoum, February 7, 2011

Sudan's president said Monday that Khartoum will accept the outcome of the referendum on southern independence.

Omar al-Bashir made the announcement just hours before the release of the final results of the referendum.

"We will announce today in front of the world our acceptance and respect for the choice of the people of the south," the president said.

He said the result of the referendum is "well known" that southern Sudan has "chosen secession."

Referendum officials in the south say almost all voters chose to secede form the north in last month's historic referendum.

The referendum was promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan's north-south civil war.

The sides still have a number of issues to resolve, especially the fate of the oil-producing Abyei region, which sits along the north-south border.