Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement today after the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel, led by President Thabo Mbeki, announced that South Sudan and Sudan have reached an agreement on the transit of oil.
"A lot of people said this couldn't happen and they were dead wrong. This is a clear and bold step toward peace and the promise of an economic lifeline for both countries. While other contentious issues, including security arrangements, must still be resolved, the restoration of the flow of oil is in fact a security arrangement for both sides. We need to see a similar breakthrough soon on humanitarian access for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.
"President Mbeki was instrumental in bringing the parties to this point and encouraging leaders on both sides to make the compromises that were necessary to move forward. He deserves real credit. The United States must continue to work to help secure true peace in the Sudans."