Washington: US Vice President Joe Biden held a meeting with members of the African Union (AU) High-Level Implementation Panel to discuss current situation in Sudan.

"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 important restrictions on peacekeepers' and humanitarian workers' access to vulnerable populations," the White House said in a statement on Monday.

Biden met the former South African President Thabo Mbeki, Chairman, 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 during the meeting.

The White House said that Biden 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.

Biden 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 US to coordinate its efforts regarding Sudan with the African Union, it said.

He 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, the White House said.

 

(Agencies)