Following is the text of a joint statement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague.
We welcome the detailed arrangements approved by the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan this week to implement all nine agreements signed by Presidents Kiir and Bashir on 27 September 2012.
Most importantly, the new arrangements set clear deadlines for the withdrawal of forces from the disputed border and the establishment of a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism operating within a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone, and they commit the parties to the resumption of oil production and the opening of the border for trade, which will provide such a vital boost to the economies of both countries.
We call on the parties to begin implementation of all aspects of these agreements immediately and unconditionally, as required by UN Security Council Resolution 2046. This spirit of cooperation should also create the conditions for the parties to make progress on all other unresolved issues, to include Abyei.
At the same time we remain deeply concerned by the security and humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan. It is imperative that both Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) seize the opportunity of direct talks to address the urgent need for a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access to all areas, and the longer-term political solution. We welcome SPLM-N’s acceptance of the invitation to direct talks and urge the Government of Sudan to do the same, without pre-conditions.
We underline our continued support for the unceasing efforts of President Mbeki and the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel.