New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) India today welcomed theoutcome of the last month''s referendum in which southern Sudanvoted for independence in a "credible and peaceful manner" andsaid it looks forward to working closely with both sides inSudan.
"India welcomes the successful conclusion of thereferendum held in Southern Sudan in which its people havevoted overwhelmingly for a separate state of South Sudan, in acredible and peaceful manner," Ministry of External Affairssaid in a release here.
It said India "looks forward to working closely withand to extending all possible assistance to both sides inSudan, with whom she has friendly and traditional ties."
As part of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreementwhich ended the civil war between North and South Sudan, areferendum was held in the first half of January on thepossibility of independence.
Nearly 99 per cent of southern Sudanese chose to splitfrom the north in the landmark January 9-15 referendum, whichwas a key plank of the 2005 peace agreement that ended adevastating 22-year war between the black Christian-dominatedsouth and the mainly Arab Muslim and Muslim north, in whichabout two million people died.
"This is a momentous development in the history ofSouth Sudan and India congratulates all parties for conductingthe proceedings peacefully and amicably in achieving theimportant landmark of the comprehensive peace agreement of2005, which India fully supports," it said.