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U.S. urges Sudan, S. Sudan to end attacks

(Xinhua)

11:04, March 28, 2012

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday urged Sudan and South Sudan to end the attacks on their shared borders and resolve the differences through talks between their leaders.

The top U.S. diplomat called the violence "deeply distressing" and urged Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir to press ahead with a summit to resolve the outstanding issues between their countries, leftovers from South Sudan's independence on July 9 last year.

"We want to see that summit held and we want to see both sides work together to end the violence," she told reporters after meeting with Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at the State Department.

"It is incumbent upon the leaders of both countries to resume negotiations, and the United States stands ready to assist in working out the contested issues," she said.

Sudan suspended a planned summit with Kiir on April 3 following border clashes on Monday at South Kordofan area, and the Sudanese government on Tuesday announced that the Sudanese army has restored areas previously occupied by South Sudan army on the border.

The White House said Washington was "alarmed" by the fighting and called for both sides to exercise "the greatest restraint."

"We think that the weight of responsibility rests with Khartoum because the use of heavy weaponry, bombing runs by planes and the like are certainly evidence of disproportionate force on the part of the government in Khartoum," Clinton said.

Noting that low-level violence has almost been continuing in Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, she urged South Sudan and its partners to contribute to ending the violence and resolving the outstanding issues with Sudan, which include border disputes and allocations of oil revenues.

"It is our goal to end the violence and to convince the parties to return to the negotiating table," she said.

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