the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the President's Call with Former South African President Thabo Mbeki About Sudan

President Obama called former South African President Thabo Mbeki this afternoon to discuss Sudan.  President Mbeki, in his role as the Chairman of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan, has been working with northern and southern Sudanese leaders to urge them to come to agreement on outstanding provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and post-referendum arrangements.  President Obama thanked President Mbeki for his leadership and his efforts, and the two discussed the importance of moving ahead aggressively to support the negotiations and resisting any entreaties to delay.  President Mbeki described his most recent efforts, and they agreed to continue closely coordinating AU and U.S. efforts to ensure on time referenda.  With only 72 days to go until the referenda scheduled for January 9, 2011, both share a sense of urgency and a commitment to mobilizing the international community to support a timely, credible process on January 9 and a peaceful, prosperous future for all the people of Sudan.