Washington, DC, US - The United States, United Kingdom and Norway have hailed the pact signed by the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan last week on the implementation of the nine agreements which the two African nations signed last Sept.
In a joint statement made available to PANA here, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague called on the parties to begin implementation of all aspects of the agreements immediately and unconditionally, as required by UN Security Council Resolution 2046.
'This spirit of cooperation should also create the conditions for the parties to make progress on all other unresolved issues, to include Abyei,' they said.
They expressed deep concern for the security and humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan, saying it is imperative that both Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) seize the opportunity of direct talks to address the urgent need for a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access to all areas, and the longer-term political solution.
'We welcome SPLM-N's acceptance of the invitation to direct talks and urge the Government of Sudan to do the same, without pre-conditions,' the joint statement said.
Tuesday's agreement spelt out detailed arrangements approved by the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to implement all the previous nine agreements signed by Presidents Salva Kiir and Omar el-Bashir on 27 Sept. 2012.
It set clear deadlines for the withdrawal of forces from the disputed border and the establishment of a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism operating within a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone, and also commits the parties to the resumption of oil production and the opening of the border for trade, which will provide such a vital boost to the economies of both countries.
The agreement was signed under the supervision of former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who heads the AU High Level Implementation Panel.