South Sudan has criticized Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir for threatening to shut down the pipeline that carries South Sudan's oil to international markets.

Bashir had issued what he said was a last warning to South Sudan to stop supporting rebels in Sudan's states of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur or he would shut the oil pipeline "forever."

South Sudan's spokesman, Barnaban Marila Benjamin said Tuesday that Bashir's threat was "not in the spirit of the cooperation agreement" that the two countries signed last September.

Benjamin denied that South Sudan was supporting the rebels.

South Sudan must export all its oil through the pipeline owned by Sudan. South Sudan stopped oil production and halted exports through the oil pipeline for 16 months to protest Sudan's oil transit fees.