Question: Do we have a read-out of meetings that have taken place since the Secretary’s last conversation with the Sudanese and South Sudanese? What has been the highest level of meetings with Sudanese and South Sudanese officials on the most recent escalation of oil tensions?
Answer: On June 10, Ambassador Joseph Stafford, Charge d’Affaires U.S. Embassy Khartoum, met with Ali Karti, the Government of Sudan’s Foreign Minister. Additionally, Ambassador Susan Page, U.S. Embassy Juba, has spoken with a number of South Sudanese officials.
In our meetings, we expressed our deep concern at President Bashir’s statement that Sudan will instruct oil companies to stop the flow of South Sudanese oil transported via Sudan’s pipeline within the next 60 days. We urged Sudan to reverse its decision, and for both Sudan and South Sudan to engage through agreed mechanisms, such as the Joint Political Security Mechanism and Petroleum Monitoring Committee, in order to address and to resolve issues related to security and support to rebels.
In our meetings with the governments of both Sudan and South Sudan, we reiterated the need to fully and immediately implement all of the September 27 cooperation agreements without preconditions. We stressed that the uninterrupted and unconditional flow of oil and the opening and securing of the Sudan/South Sudan border for trade and movement of peoples, including trans-border migratory populations, will bring economic benefit and stability to citizens of both countries and should be prioritized.