WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday met with his special envoy for Sudan to express "deep concern" over the violence and humanitarian crisis in the country.
"President Obama today met with Ambassador Princeton Lyman, his special envoy for Sudan, to discuss the status of mediation efforts to end the political and humanitarian crisis in Abyei and the humanitarian crisis and violence in Southern Kordofan," the White House said in a statement Thursday.
"The president expressed deep concern over the violence and the lack of humanitarian access, and he underscored the urgent need to get back to cooperative negotiations to enable full and timely implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including peaceful resolution of the future status of Abyei and the Two Areas."
Lyman updated Obama on the recent meetings Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had with the parties during her trip to Africa, and Obama told Lyman he is "following the situation closely."
Obama gave his full support to Lyman's work to "press for a successful conclusion of the negotiations to achieve a withdrawal from Abyei and a cessation of hostilities across the region and to support the emergence of two viable states at peace," the statement said.
Obama said Sudan's leaders must not miss the opportunity to advance the promise of greater peace and prosperity.
Sudan's northern and southern regions are slated to become separate nations July 9 but violence has broken out in disputed territories along the proposed border.