Obama Pledges Support to Peaceful Democratic Transformation before the South Referendum
New York Agencies, Khartoum, Mona Al-Bashir
World leaders including United States President Barack Obama met Friday at the United Nations to discuss growing fears over the possible breakup of powder keg Sudan.

Obama and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met Thursday in advance of the crisis meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York.
North and south Sudan will vow on Friday to ensure that a referendum on whether the south should secede takes place peacefully and on time, according to a draft communiqué.
The communiqué is expected to be approved at a summit on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly where U.S. President Barack Obama will join Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Salva Kiir, the President of semi-autonomous South Sudan.
"The CPA parties (north and south) expressed strong commitment to make all efforts to ensure peaceful, credible, timely, and free referenda that reflect the will of the Sudanese people of these areas," said the draft communiqué.
The CPA refers to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of civil war between the north and south.
"They further committed to overcome the remaining political and technical challenges and to ensure the referenda are held on 9 January 2011," the draft said.
The point of Friday's summit -- and the presence of Obama -- is to send a strong signal to north and south Sudan that the world is committed to helping Sudan ensure the secession referendum happens on time, U.N. diplomats and officials say.
In his address to the UN General Assembly Thursday Obama said they put forward a new development policy that will pursue these goals, recognizing that dignity is a human right and global development is in our common interest. America will partner with nations that offer their people a path out of poverty. And together, we must unleash growth that powers by individuals and emerging markets in all parts of the globe.
There is no reason why Africa should not be an exporter of agriculture, which is why our food security initiative is empowering farmers. There is no reason why entrepreneurs shouldn't be able to build new markets in every society, which is why I hosted a summit on entrepreneurship earlier this spring, because the obligation of government is to empower individuals, not to impede them.
It is to be noted that Sudan participated with a high level delegation under the chairmanship of Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha to discuss south Sudan referendum issue in the presence of President Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.


SPLM is represented by GoSS President, 1st Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit.
It is expected that Vice President, Ali Osman addresses the meeting to brief on the situations in Sudan and the CPA implementation.
Foreign Minister Ali Karti described the meeting as an important one adding that 33 states are participating in the meetings besides regional and international organizations.
He added that the meeting aims at pushing the developments in the events in Sudan forward to implement the CPA and achieving peace in Darfur.
World leaders including US President Barack Obama met Friday at the United Nations to address growing fears of future conflict in Sudan. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the country is one of his "top priorities."
An upcoming vote on self-determination for the oil-rich southern portion of Sudan has raised fears that the South will seek a unilateral break with Khartoum, which could lead to renewed conflict in a region already devastated by decades of civil war.
The presidents of Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya are attending Friday's special session at UN Headquarters in New York along with ministers from France, Britain, Brazil, Egypt, India, Germany and Canada among others.
Obama advisor Samantha Power says the summit is an "unprecedented show of will and unity" to address the future of the country.
UN officials and diplomats say that preparations for the self-determination vote in southern Sudan, set for January 9, are running far behind schedule. The referendum is part of the 2005 peace accord that brought an end two decades of civil war in the south.
Friday's meeting will encourage north and south to work together to ensure that a credible, peaceful referendum takes place on schedule.
A diplomatic source said that the referendum issue needs intensive work with the parties which are supposed to cooperate directly with the support of the UN and other countries.
Norwegian Foreign Minister said that if the matters deteriorated then the consequences will affect other countries and not only Sudan.
The US president discussed Sudan with Ban Ki-moon on Thursday and said that with the United Nations he would be "focusing the world's attention on the upcoming referenda in Sudan."
On his part Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha briefed the Iranian President on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings on the developments in Sudan and the Implementation of the CPA besides the efforts to achieve peace in Darfur.
The Iranian President affirmed his country's support to achieve peace and security in Sudan lauding Sudan's stances towards Iran in the regional and international forums.
Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha met in New York with Qatari Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Abdllah Al-Mahmoud where they discussed the current arrangements to resume the Doha talks.
Meanwhile, Taha lauded Qatar stances to achieve peace in Darfur.