The African Union calls for urgent talks between Sudan and South Sudan over the flashpoint Abyei region.
It has backed off from a threat to refer the matter to the UN Security Council.
The AU's Peace and Security Council had given the two countries until December 5 to settle the final status of oil-producing Abyei, which Sudanese troops occupied for a year until May.
But no talks took place by the deadline,
In October, the AU security body decided that if the two countries could not settle the Abyei issue themselves, they would be bound by an AU proposal for a referendum in October next year on whether the territory joins Sudan or South Sudan.
The AU said it would also seek UN Security Council endorsement of its proposal.
But the statement which followed a meeting on Friday made no mention of UN involvement.
It reiterated that the referendum proposal is "a fair, equitable and workable solution" and the issue of Abyei's final status will be referred to a meeting of AU leaders in January.
Abyei's final status was the most sensitive matter left unresolved when South Sudan separated last year under a peace agreement that ended 23 years of civil war.
Sudanese troops withdrew from the territory in May after a year-long occupation that sent more than 100,000 people fleeing towards South Sudan.
The area is now controlled by Ethiopian UN peacekeepers.