UPDATE 1-China's Hu calls for Sudans to exercise restraint

Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:35am GMT

(Recasts, adds quotes, details)

By Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard

BEIJING, April 24 (Reuters) - Chinese President Hu Jintao called for restraint from the two Sudans on Tuesday after South Sudan President Salva Kiir told Hu that his country's larger northern neighbour had declared war on the newly-independent state.

Hu "stated that he very much hoped that both Sudans would proceed from the broader considerations of the fundamental interests of both countries' people and regional peace and stability and adhere to choosing peace, respecting each others' sovereignty and exercising calm and restraint," state television said.

He urged both sides to settle their disputes through peaceful negotiations and give and take, it added.

"The urgent task is to actively cooperate with the mediation efforts of the international community and halt armed conflict in the border areas," the report paraphrased Hu as telling Kiir during a meeting in Beijing.

"China sincerely hopes that South Sudan and Sudan can become good neighbours who coexist in amity and good partners who develop together," Hu added.

Kiir told Hu that Sudan had declared war on his newly-independent country, following weeks of border fighting between the two countries.

"It (this visit) comes at a very critical moment for the Republic of South Sudan because our neighbour in Khartoum has declared war on the Republic of South Sudan," Kiir said.   Continued...

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