Sudan, S. Sudan agree to talks

May 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, May 25 (UPI) -- The governments of Sudan and South Sudan are called on to demonstrate flexibility during next week's peace talks in Ethiopia, the U.N. chief said.

Khartoum announced this week it agreed to resume peace negotiations with South Sudan's government under the auspices of the African Union starting next week in the Ethiopian capital.

The agreement followed meetings between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and former South African President Thabo Mbeki, chairman of an AU panel on Sudan.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a statement issued through his spokesman's office, said he welcomed the resumption of peace talks planned next week in Addis Ababa.

Ban, the statement read, "encourages the parties to reconvene in an atmosphere of good will and calls on them to demonstrate the flexibility necessary to reach agreement on outstanding issues in accordance with the guidance and deadlines set by the African Union Peace and Security Council and the U.N. Security Council."

South Sudan gained independence in July under the terms of a 2005 peace agreement that ended one of the bloodiest civil wars in modern history. Disputes over oil revenue and border demarcation, as well as ethnic clashes, remain tense and threaten the fragile peace.

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