Sudanese president sets deadline for Darfur peace talks

09:26, December 30, 2010      

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has set Thursday as the deadline for signing a peace agreement over the Darfur conflicts through the Qatar-hosted peace talks.

"We say to the mediation and Qatar 'enough negotiation.' We set tomorrow as a final date. If an agreement is reached, then that is what is required, otherwise we would withdraw our negotiating delegation from Doha," said al-Bashir when addressing a rally in Nyala, South Darfur State, broadcasted by the official Sudan TV Wednesday.

"The negotiation and dialogue will be inside Darfur and with the Darfur people. We will not negotiate with any person who carries a gun and claims that he is a leader of an armed faction. The movements' leaders got used to endless negotiations and residing in luxurious hotels," he added.

In the meantime, the Sudanese president reiterated that the development of the region topped the priorities of his government, saying that "we do not have time to waste in negotiations; our efforts will be directed towards development, rehabilitation, building of roads, hospitals, universities and schools and provision of drinking water."

The Qatari capital of Doha is hosting marathon negotiations between Khartoum and the Darfur rebels, but the most recent round of talks has not yet achieved any progress and an agreement, which had been expected to be signed on Dec. 19, has not been signed.

The government negotiating delegation and representatives of the Darfur rebel Justice and Liberation Movement (JLM) have failed to overcome the points of difference which include the group's demand for the post of the vice-president together with the difference over the state of the region, whether it should be one region or three states as the case at present.

The Sudanese president, meanwhile, renewed his government commitment to support south Sudan regardless of the result of south Sudan referendum, slated for Jan. 9, 2011.

Source: Xinhua

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