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Abyei - 15 Jan 2012

US asks Sudan and South Sudan to seriously negotiate outstanding issues

The US government has advised the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to enter serious productive negotiations when they resume talks in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

The two governments will continue to discuss oil and other matters relating to the Naivasha agreement (Comprehensive Peace Agreement).

The US expressed concern in a statement released by the US embassy in Addis Ababa on Sunday, about the threats of recent unilateral measures taken by the Sudanese government impeding the flow of oil from South Sudan.

They stated the risk of the development of the oil sector due to increasing tension, confirming the sector as vital to the progress of both countries. The blockade of oil from South Sudan could damage the countries international reputations with oil companies.

The US urged both countries to agree on commercial arrangements on oil during the upcoming talks.

Head state minister Idris Mohammed Abul Qader announced today the arrears owed to the Sudanese government from South Sudan as six billion dollars for the transit of oil, whilst South Sudan is owed five billion dollars in arrears.

He added the next round of talks will focus on oil and trade as well as financial agreements between the two governments.