Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who is observing the independence referendum in South Sudan, has said that the 60 percent-turnout threshold there for it to be valid has been achieved.
He also said he believes the vote will meet international standards.
Carter is heading an observer mission for week-long referendum which began on January 10.
The referendum is widely expected to result in South Sudan seceding from the North.
It was promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between the mainly Musim North and the South where most follow Christianity or traditional beliefs.
compiled from agency reports