Clinton commends completion of south Sudan referendum

January 18, 2011 11:30 am 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 — U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton on Monday commended the completion of the referendum in south Sudan, describing it as "a significant achievement and a historic step."

Clinton said in a statement issued by the State Department that the United States "commends" south Sudanese people who participated in the referendum, and "applauds" leaders in Sudan for creating conditions that allowed voters to cast their ballots.

She reaffirmed U.S. commitment to remain "a steadfast partner to both parties as they continue to work toward full implementation of the CPA (comprehensive peace agreement) and to develop their post-CPA relationship."

"The parties have an opportunity to forge a durable peace between the North and the South, and to build positive relationships with the international community," said Clinton.

"We hope they will seize this moment, and the United States supports their efforts to ensure a peaceful, more prosperous future for all Sudanese," she added.

South Sudan referendum polling centers closed on Saturday. The referendum will determine whether south Sudan remains a part of Sudan or becomes independent, in accordance with the 2005 CPA that ended a long-running north-south civil war.

The referendum's preliminary results are expected to be announced by February 2, and depending on whether appeals are launched in the courts, the final result will be declared on February 7 or 14. (PNA/Xinhua)

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