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U.S. keen on easing tensions between Sudan, South Sudan: envoy

(Xinhua)

09:38, February 20, 2012

KHARTOUM, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman on Sunday reiterated Washington's keenness to ease the standing tensions between Sudan and South Sudan, expressing hope that the two countries would avoid whatever might exacerbate the tensions.

Lyman held talks on Sunday with Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Karti, focusing on the relations between Khartoum and Washington as well as the outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan.

"Washington is keen on easing the tension between the two countries and we hope the two countries would avoid all acts that are likely to contribute to increasing the tension," said Lyman, according to a press statement by Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lyman attributed the failure of the recent negotiations between Khartoum and Juba in Addis Ababa to what he termed as weak confidence between the two sides, expressing hope that they would manage to overcome the barrier of distrust in the coming rounds of talks.

The U.S. envoy further noted that his country welcomes the Sudanese government's intention to evaluate the humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states via involving regional and international organizations, urging Khartoum to implement that.

He said that Washington meant to send a positive message to Sudan by giving the first signal in supporting the steps of exempting Sudan's debts via including that in the U.S. budget for 2013.

U.S. President Barack Obama has recently asked the Congress to endorse the coming U.S. budget bill including possibility for Sudan to benefit from exempting its debts to the United States.

Obama, however, said that Sudan would benefit from the exemption only if it had fulfilled its commitments to refraining from supporting terrorism, implemented the peace agreements and avoided violation of human rights.

Sudan, for its part, said it had fulfilled all of its commitments, while the ruling National Congress Party regarded the U.S. president's promises to exempt Sudan's debts on conditions that it implements the peace agreements as "worthless promises."

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