BEIRUT

Middle East

Kerry says hopes to speak to S.Sudan rebel leader

South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin, right, welcomes US Secretary of State John Kerry upon his arrival at Juba International Airport, South Sudan, Friday May 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

JUBA: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday he hoped to speak with South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar later in the day to persuade him to meet with his rival President Salva Kiir and bring an end to the country's conflict.

Kiir had earlier told Kerry in Juba that he was willing to travel to Ethiopia where peace talks between the warring sides are being held. Kerry said a meeting between the two was "critical" to implement a failed January ceasefire.

 

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