KHARTOUM, SUDAN- Last evening, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry issued the following statement after meetings yesterday in Sudan:
"After a series of discussions with Sudanese leaders from both the North and South of Sudan, I can announce that leaders from the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) have made commitments to enter into tripartite talks with President Obama's Special Envoy for Sudan, General Gration, to reengage in talks on implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
The CPA ended the longest war in African history. The agreement was a victory for both North and South, bringing to a close conflict that had lasted decades and claimed millions of lives. However, implementation of key elements of the CPA has lagged. Following meetings with Vice President Taha, Foreign Minister Deng, and a phone call with President Salva Kir, the leaders committed to return to the negotiation table.
Bringing a lasting peace and ending the humanitarian tragedy in Darfur remains a high priority. Special Envoy Gration has succeeded in negotiating a strong agreement with the government with many positive elements to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur and in my meetings today, I emphasized the urgent need to fully address the humanitarian situation and suffering of the people in Darfur.
But the implementation and fulfillment of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is also absolutely essential for the future of Sudan. The United States played a key role in crafting the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and if today's commitments are honored, General Gration and the United States will have a critical role in seeing to its fulfillment."