Vice President Biden today met at the White House with former South African President Thabo Mbeki, Chairman of the African Union (AU) High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan, along with fellow panel members, former President of Nigeria Abdulsalami Abubakar, and former President of Burundi Pierre Buyoya.
The Vice President and the delegation committed to continue their work together with the parties to resolve outstanding Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) issues by July 2011, particularly the issue of Abyei. The Vice President expressed appreciation for the Panel’s role in brokering the recent commitment by Sudanese leaders to withdraw Northern and Southern forces from Abyei and underscored the commitment of the United States to coordinate our efforts regarding Sudan with the African Union.
On the critical issue of Darfur, the Vice President expressed great concern that security conditions on the ground continue to deteriorate and are further aggravated by restrictions on peacekeepers’ and humanitarian workers’ access to vulnerable populations. The Vice President underscored the importance of ensuring the establishment of two viable states in Sudan after the South’s independence in July and stressed that a resolution to the situation in Darfur must be part of that process.
Both sides committed to working together to galvanize international support for addressing our shared interests in the coming months. The meeting builds on Vice President Biden’s trip to Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa last June that helped to build regional cooperation on CPA implementation.
To view a photograph of the Vice President’s meeting, click HERE.