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Home >> World
UPDATED: 21:38, April 23, 2007
Egypt vows to support Sudan' efforts to end Darfur crisis
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit stressed on Monday his country's support for the efforts exerted by the Sudanese government to end the crisis in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.

Abul Gheit told reporters that Egypt had noticed in the recent period "an active response" of the Sudanese government to international demands following its agreement on the light and heavy support packages.

"We encourage this development and will help Sudan overcome this crisis," he said.

The Sudanese government announced on April 16 its acceptance of the heavy support package from the UN for the African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in Darfur, including the deployment of attack helicopters in the region.

Some 1 million civilians have been displaced and a number of civilians have been killed since tribal clashes and anti- government rebellion erupted in February 2003.

Accompanied by Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, the Egypt's top diplomat arrived in Khartoum to deliver a message to Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir from his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak.

Abul Gheit said that his visit to Sudan was aimed at coordinating positions with Sudan in order to boost the peace process in Darfur and to reunite the positions of the armed groups in Darfur preparing for a meeting to be held by the parties concerned including Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Chad, Eritrea and others at the end of this month.

The foreign minister reiterated his government's refusal of what he called "maneuvers" of escalating the situation and punishing Sudan, stressing that the AU force which is currently carrying out the peacekeeping mission in Darfur should be the basis of any peacekeeping force in the troubled region.

During the several-hour visit, Abul Gheit will have talks with the Sudanese president and other senior Sudanese officials.

Abul Gheit's visit comes at a time when Khartoum is under mounting pressures from the United States and few other western countries for a deployment of UN peacekeepers in Darfur.

Source: Xinhua

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