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Presidents of Sudan, South Sudan meet on oil

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October 22, 2013 06:03 PM EST | AP

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JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — The presidents of South Sudan and Sudan met face-to-face Tuesday and said they are working to maintain peace between the two countries.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, who met in South Sudan's capital, said in a joint statement they agreed to expedite the establishment of a joint or independent governing body in the contested border region of Abyei.

They also agreed to start coordinating on ways to help people and goods move across border points, and to stop supporting and harboring rebel movements in either country.

An African Union panel mediating talks between the countries last year proposed a referendum to be held in Abyei this month to determine which country the region would join.

South Sudan voted to break away from Sudan in 2011.

In a statement, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the summit between the two presidents and their decision to accelerate the full establishment of a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone by mid-November.