Washington / Khartoum:  Delegations from Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan on Thursday concluded talks by signing agreements on cooperation in several areas, including security, oil production, trade, and rights.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir said, "Today's signing represents a historic moment in building peace between our two countries." He added that this amounted to "a real example of the ability of the Sudanese people, of Africans, to achieve compromise".

The document signed makes provision for the creation of a buffer zone between the two countries, Sudan's condition for the normalisation of relations with its neighbour.

In November, South Sudan is expected to restart oil extraction work that was halted due to disagreements over oil transit tariffs. However, the two countries were unable to reach final agreement on border demarcation and the hotly disputed oil-rich Abyei region.

US welcomes Sudan, South Sudan deal

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed the agreement reached by Sudan and South Sudan on a number of outstanding issues that roiled ties between the two neighbours.

"I welcome the historic agreement that was reached today between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan on a number of critical issues," Xinhua quoted Obama as saying.

"This agreement breaks new ground in support of the international vision of two viable states at peace with each other, and represents substantial progress in resolving the outstanding security and economic issues between Sudan and South Sudan," he noted.

(Agencies)

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