In South Sudan, Kerry calls for end to violence

LARA JAKES
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South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, chats with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as he greets Kerry at the President's Office in Juba, South Sudan, Friday, May 2, 2014. Kerry is urging South Sudan's warring government and rebel leaders to uphold a monthslong promise to embrace a cease-fire or risk the specter of genocide through continued ethnic killings. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan's president has agreed to meet with his rival as soon as next week to jumpstart peace talks that have been stalled for months and possibly lay groundwork for a new government to bring the world's newest nation out of bloodshed.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met for about 90 minutes Friday with President Salva Kiir in his lush office compound in the capital Juba. Kerry later announced an agreement for the peace talks as early as next week in Ethiopia.

Kerry said Kiir's rival, the former vice president-turned-rebel Riek Machar, has previously indicated he would engage in cease-fire discussions. The American diplomat said he hoped to speak to Machar later Friday.