The successful start of voting for the Southern Sudan Referendum represents a historic step towards implementation of Sudanâ€™s Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
The people of Sudan deserve a process that is credible, peaceful and that ultimately reflects their will. Significant progress has been made in recent months towards preparing for the referendum, including the successful completion of voter registration and other technical arrangements. Going forward, the work of the many domestic and international observation and monitoring groups will be crucial and we look forward to their assessment.
We welcome the leadership shown by both parties to the CPA, including the commitment by President Bashir that his government will respect the outcome of the referendum. We also appreciate the partiesâ€™ acknowledgment of the importance of continued cooperation regardless of the outcome. This spirit will be important as the parties negotiate the post-referendum arrangements that will define their future relationship.
The United States is committed to the long-term security and prosperity of both north and south Sudan and we will continue to support the Sudanese people. We welcome the ongoing engagement of the international community as Sudan moves forward and we salute the strong leadership by the United Nations Mission in Sudan. We will work closely with all our international partners to maintain strong international support for the referendum process, successful implementation of the CPA, and a peaceful and prosperous future for all of the Sudanese people.