WASHINGTON - A U.S. envoy said Thursday that both Sudan and South Sudan wanted to find ways to avoid "all-out war" as violence escalated amid vows by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to fight the South.
Princeton Lyman, U.S. special envoy on Sudan and South Sudan, told reporters after talks in the two countries that both sides wanted a way out and that he was pressing South Sudan to withdraw from a key oil field.
"I can say with confidence that virtually everyone I've talked to has said, look, we don't want to go to all-out war with the other," Lyman told reporters by telephone from Khartoum.
The countries "want to find a way out," he said. "They have different approaches, but both sides are looking for that."
Lyman acknowledged that the two countries were in a "very, very serious crisis" but said both nations were mindful of international pressure.
Tensions have soared since South Sudan, which became independent last year with strong US support, seized the Heglig oil field.
Lyman said that he told President Salva Kiir and other officials in the South's capital, Juba, that they should "note the unanimous reaction of the international community."
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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