Carter: Sudan ready to withdraw troops

May 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM

KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 28 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said in Sudan that President Omar al-Bashir was ready to withdraw his troops from Abyei ahead of peace talks.

"President Bashir told us he had notified the negotiators that [he was] willing to withdraw his troops from Abyei. We believe this is a major step forward," Carter said during a news conference in Khartoum after The Elders' meeting -- The Elders is an independent group of eminent global leaders -- with Bashir Sunday.

The declaration comes days before Sudan and South Sudan scheduled peace talks on May 29 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Khartoum and Juba are set to discuss the implementation of the Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area signed June 2011.

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