Hillary Clinton heads to South Sudan

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- Meetings between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and South Sudanese leaders will focus on peace talks with Sudan, the State Department said.

Clinton left Tuesday for an 11-day tour of African nations, starting with a visit to Senegal.


"Next, Secretary Clinton travels to South Sudan where she meets with President (Salva) Kiir to reaffirm U.S. support and to encourage progress in negotiations with Sudan to reach agreement on issues related to security, oil and citizenship," the State Department said.

The U.N. Security Council set a Thursday deadline for both sides to find a way to settle outstanding issues.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in a statement that Washington "strongly condemns" military action by Khartoum against South Sudanese border states. South Sudan, meanwhile, is commended for pulling its forces out of disputed border areas but Rice said she was frustrated by the continued support for area rebels.

South Sudan became an independent country last year under the terms of a 2005 peace deal with Sudan brokered with Washington's help. Since then, Sudan and South Sudan have approached the brink of war over border, oil and ethnic disputes.


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