- Associated Press - Friday, September 24, 2010

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Barack Obama is using his last day at the U.N. General Assembly to focus on averting renewed conflict in Sudan and easing growing maritime tensions between China and its Southeast Asian neighbors.

Obama on Friday attends a high-level U.N. meeting aimed at ensuring that an upcoming independence referendum for southern Sudan does not spark a new civil war. Preparations for the January vote are well behind schedule, and there are fears a vote to secede will lead to violence.

The president also hosts a luncheon for leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations who are concerned about increasing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. Obama also is expected to press Myanmar’s military rulers to hold democratic elections.

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