Sudan says it is ready to pull its soldiers out of the contested Abyei region, former US president Jimmy Carter said after meeting Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir on Sunday.
"He has notified the negotiators he's ready to withdraw troops from Abyei," Carter told reporters after he and Algeria's former foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi held talks with the Sudanese president.
The two met Bashir as members of The Elders, a group of global leaders chaired by Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu, ahead of a planned resumption of talks between Sudan and South Sudan on Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
After the two nations came to the brink of all-out war in April, the UN Security Council called on them to cease hostilities along their contested border and to resume talks on a number of issues including the status of Abyei.
Sudan occupied the Abyei area one year ago.
The United Nations resolution called on both sides to pull their forces out by May 16.
South Sudan complied, but Sudan said it would withdraw only after a joint administrative body is established.
Asked whether Bashir had revised that condition, Carter said: "He did not express to us any reservations or conditions."© ANP/AFP