Sudan is seeking African support for the country's refusal of the proposed deployment of UN peacekeeping forces in its western Darfur region, the official Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) reported on Wednesday.
Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir made the appeal while sending messages on Wednesday to his Egyptian and Nigerian counterpart Hosni Mubarak and Olusegun Obasanjo, and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, SUNA said.
The messages were handed over to ambassadors of the three countries by Samani al-Wasila al-Sheikh, Sudan's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, according to the report.
The official, meanwhile, expressed the country's commitment and keenness for achieving a breakthrough in the current negotiations between the government and Darfur rebels in the Nigerian capital Abuja and realizing a just and comprehensive peace as soon as possible, said SUNA.
During the meeting, the three ambassadors underlined their governments' support for Sudan as well as its position on keeping the Darfur file in AU's hand.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese Media Center (SMC) reported Wednesday that the Sudanese government was leading "a resistance movement" in the AU Peace and Security Council in winning African countries' supports for Sudan's position on the deployment of international peacekeepers in Darfur.
AU spokesman Assane Ba said Tuesday that a meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on whether to hand over the AU mission in Darfur to the United Nations due in Addis Ababa on Friday has been postponed until March 10 to give ample time for all those concerned in the Darfur crisis to attend, without elaborating.
In January, the AU said it could afford an extension of its peacekeeping mission in Darfur and expressed its "support in principle" for a UN takeover of the mission.
The UN has already started contingency planning for a takeover, but UN Security Council members say a resolution should come only after AU foreign ministers make a decision on whether to turn over the mission.