UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday welcomed the deal reached over the weekend by the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan on oil and financial arrangements as an important milestone for building good neighborly relations between the two countries, even though it came two days after a deadline set by the Security Council, his press office said in a statement. “The Secretary-General is encouraged that the two Governments have significantly narrowed their positions on contentious issues. He regrets, however, that they have not met the 2 August deadline set by the United Nations Security Council in endorsing the African Peace and Security Council Road Map,” the statement said. He also urged the Sudanese and South Sudanese leaders to muster the necessary political will to resolve all other outstanding issues such as the demarcation of their shared border, the status of the contested region of Abyei and citizenship. Ban took the opportunity to also commend Khartoum and the rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM/North) for signing, separately, Tripartite Memoranda of Understanding with the African Union (AU), Arab League and the United Nations on humanitarian assistance to war-affected civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, and urged the Government to expeditiously enable the delivery of aid to the affected populations.