Hilde urges S. Sudan, Sudan to settle oil dispute
JUBA: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday urged South Sudan and Sudan to end an oil dispute that has brought the neighbors to the brink of war, in the highest-level visit of a US official to Juba since its independence a year ago.
Clinton visited Africa’s newest nation for the first time on Friday, hours after a US Security Council deadline expired for the neighbors to solve a long list of disputes ranging from border security to oil payments. Clinton said both nations should reach an oil agreement as a first step to end hostilities. Juba sent both economies into turmoil when it shut down its oil output in January to stop Khartoum seizing oil for what the latter called unpaid fees.
“Now we need to get those (oil) resources flowing again,” Clinton told reporters after meeting South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir for more than one hour in his office where she hugged him upon arrival.
“A percentage of something is better than a percentage of nothing,” she said, referring to the importance of an oil deal.
|Because the US would rather buy oil from despicable thugs and oil tics than drill for it at home...|
“Both countries will need to compromise to close the remaining gaps between them,” she said during her 3-hour visit to Juba, part of an 11-nation African tour.
The African Union has been trying to mediate between the neighbors but talks have made little progress. Both sides have made some concessions in oil talks but remain far apart from a deal. Prior to her Juba visit, Clinton called Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti on Wednesday to signal continued US support for both nations to settle all disputes peacefully, Sudanese state news agency SUNA said.
Posted by: Steve White