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Rediff.com  » News » US welcomes India's special envoy in Sudan

US welcomes India's special envoy in Sudan

April 03, 2012 11:56 IST

The United States has welcomed the recent move by India to send its special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan to broker peace between the two countries, where New Delhi has sizeable oil interest.

"We welcome that degree of interest," US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Princeton Lyman told reporters during a conference call on Monday.

Lyman said he is looking forward to meeting his Indian counterpart Amarendra Khatua.

Khatua is on a visit to both Juba and Khartoum as India's special envoy to help promote peace and protect India's interests in other African nations as well.

The Indian move comes three months after China sent its own special envoy to handle the crisis and protect its oil interests.

"As you know, both China and India have significant investments in the oil sector. And as a result, they both have an interest in a stable and peaceful relationship between the two countries because much of the oil is in the south and the infrastructure to export it is in the north," Lyman said in response to a question.

"So we have been in touch on many occasions with the Chinese, and I have been in touch with the new Chinese envoy. I have not yet met the new envoy from India, but we are delighted that they are taking part in diplomatic efforts to both help ease the tension and encourage the governments to reach an agreement on oil as well as other issues," he said.

"I think for all of us in the international community, and that would -- it would be true for India as well, to urge a resolution of the conflicts that are going on, because it's hard to see the full implementation of an oil agreement if the two sides are fighting at the border or if there is continued unrest in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile that spills over between the two countries," Lyman said.

"I think for all of us in the international community, it's important not only to encourage the governments to reach an agreement on oil, but to reach an agreement on the issues that are dividing them so sharply and creating so much conflict. We all need to engage in a broad diplomatic effort, not just on one issue," the American special envoy said.

Lalit K Jha
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