I want to congratulate the leadership and the people of South Sudan on their independence on July 9. It is a major milestone. It is something for which millions sacrificed their lives and their welfare and their children. And it is a momentous occasion and an opportunity now to build a better life for all the people in that new country.
The independence of South Sudan represents not only a milestone but a great challenge. The new government of South Sudan faces a country that has long been underdeveloped in terms of infrastructure, training, literacy and all the things that go into development for their people.
So now the new government must focus on how to get those needs fulfilled in the best possible way. They also have to manage the complications of extensive budget, of challenges from militia, of reaching out and creating government at the state and local levels that will be responsive, dealing with a whole host of problems.
The United States and the rest of the international community will stand with them. We will be working closely with them and we will be providing all appropriate assistance to having the new government meet these needs. But at the same time it's important that this peace process produce not just independence for South Sudan, but the emergence of two viable states in Sudan, the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan, because the two states depend on each other. There is an enormous amount of interdependence, whether it's in trade on the border, on oil, on relationships back and forth, and a key element in this new era is going to be the ability of both of these countries to manage that relationship, deal with whatever differences arise and make it productive for all the people.