Press statement by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, following the meeting with Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan
It is an honour for me to welcome the first President of independent South Sudan to Brussels.
Last July, the EU warmly welcomed South Sudan's independence, which marks the beginning of a new era for the people of South Sudan. The EU, together with other members of the international community, remains committed to supporting South Sudan so that it can establish itself as a secure, stable and democratic country.
At today's meeting with President Salva Kiir, I confirmed the EU's strong support for South Sudan’s state building and development efforts. The EU is already doing a lot, helping to reduce poverty, improve health care and education. We will assist in efforts to consolidate democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
I expressed our wish to see South Sudan and Sudan live peacefully side by side as good neighbours. I commended President Salva Kiir on last week's initialled agreements with Sudan on citizenship and border demarcation and I encouraged further efforts to settle all outstanding issues, including oil and the Abyei Area. The EU will continue to support African Union facilitation efforts in this regard.
I am gravely concerned about the ongoing violence in the border areas and the worsening humanitarian situation. The EU has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities by all parties, the resumption of dialogue and the peaceful settlement of all disputes. As to the situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, I appeal to Khartoum to urgently allow the delivery of international humanitarian aid to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
I also expressed my concern about the recent inter-communal violence in Jonglei State which has left hundreds dead and tens of thousands fleeing their homes. I encouraged President Kiir to do his utmost to restore security in these areas and, in the long run, to address the root causes of these conflicts.
To conclude, the EU supported the Sudan Peace Process all the way through. We will remain actively engaged with both South Sudan and Sudan to achieve lasting peace and development.