UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Friday urged Sudan not to shut down oil pipelines that are the sole conduit for crude exports from South Sudan, which relies heavily on oil revenues for its economy.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced in May that the pipeline would be closed unless the government in Juba stopped supporting rebels active in Sudan. Juba has repeatedly denied providing any support.
"The Security Council urges the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to maintain dialogue to ensure continued transportation of oil from South Sudan, and the government of Sudan to suspend any actions to halt the transportation of oil from South Sudan," the 15-nation council said in a statement.
Sudan announced earlier this month that it had delayed the shutdown until September 6 to allow an African Union team to continue investigating the complaints.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011. A shutdown of the oil pipelines from the South could have serious economic and political implications for Africa's youngest country.
No official date has been set for a new round of talks between the two countries.
(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Bill Trott)