Obama to meet South Sudan leader at UN

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama will meet with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, the White House said.

The meeting, announced Friday by Ben Rhodes, a US deputy national security advisor, will be the first meeting between the two leaders since South Sudan gain independence in July, after decades of strife that claimed millions of life.

"We welcome South Sudan as the newest member state of the United Nations," Rhodes said.

"The United States has played a long role in supporting a resolution to the conflict in Sudan and self determination to the South Sudanese. This will be a meeting to mark that progress."

Obama had strongly backed self-determination for the southern territory, saying upon recognizing the new state that Washington pledged "partnership" as the new African country seeks "security, development and responsive governance that can fulfill their aspirations."

He also at the time said their independence marked "a new stage in the long journey from Africa to the realization of its opportunities, democracy and justice."

The United States in recent weeks has urged a resolution to fighting in the border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, with envoy Princeton Lyman calling it an obstacle to improved ties after the south seceded.

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

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