UN Chief Relieved over Sudan's Delay in Oil Line Closure
    2013-08-08 08:45:14     Xinhua       Web Editor: ZhangPeng
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon has voiced his relief over Sudan's delay in the closure of an economically vital pipeline carrying South Sudanese oil through its territories, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday.

When talking over phone with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Tuesday, Ban "stated he was relieved that the government of Sudan had decided to postpone the deadline of shutting down the oil flow from South Sudan until 22 August," the spokesman said.

Sudan's Petroleum Ministry has notified oil companies the postponement of shutting down the oil pipeline carrying South Sudan's oil from Aug. 7 to Aug. 22, Khartoum's Almeghar Alsiyasi daily reported Monday.

The announcement came after a visit to Khartoum by Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and Thabo Mbeki, the African Union 's top mediator between Sudan and South Sudan.

Khartoum has previously set the date of Aug. 7 as the deadline for ceasing South Sudan's oil exportation, accusing Juba of continuing its support for the rebels active against the Sudanese government.

Since South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, peace between the two countries has been threatened by armed clashes along their common border and outstanding unresolved issues, notably the status of the oil-rich area of Abyei.

In September last year, Sudan and South Sudan signed cooperation agreements, which covered oil, citizenship rights, security issues, banking, and border trade.

During the talk, Ban also told the president that "he had been closely following the situation in South Sudan," the spokesman said. "He was pleased to note that calm had prevailed after the cabinet reshuffle."

"The secretary-general underscored that the United Nations looked forward to continue working closely with the government, including with the new members of the president's cabinet once they would be confirmed," Nesirky said.

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