Questions and Anwers Regarding the Darfur Situation and Libyan CounterpartsJendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs
Remarks at Tripoli International Airport
March 8, 2006
A/S Frazer: I am very pleased to be in Tripoli to consult with Libyan officials on achieving a political solution in Darfur, as well as other areas of common interest in furthering regional stability. I agreed with my Libyan counterparts that the nations of the region and the international community as a whole must cooperate closely to reach our shared objectives.
In Darfur, thousands are suffering and we must continue to act to save lives. To that end, the United States strongly supports the African Union’s efforts and we are committed to working with the international community on next steps to deal with an increasingly complex situation.
The consultations with Libya, are part of a process of discussing with African Union member governments, how we might fruitfully cooperate together towards building a better future for the people of Darfur.
Thank you and I will take a couple of questions.
A/S Fraze: Well I think Libya has an extremely important role to play. It has tremendous influence in the region and in Sudan and in Darfur as well as with Chad and so we think that Libya has an important role which was why I was asked to come here by Secretary Rice to consult with them. Clearly the situation in Darfur as I said is quite complex. The United States has been a strong supporter of the African Union in this process. We are working with Salim Salim in Abuja to try and get a peace agreement but also to try and strengthen the African Union forces operating in Darfur. Libya will continue to play a role. In my consultations they told me that they would step up their efforts towards trying to reach that political solution.
Question: BBC World – Rana Jawad: Are you optimistic of them reaching a solution?
A/S Frazer: Certainly I am optimistic in the long run that we’ll have a political solution but not in the short term. The African Union Peace and Security Council will meet on March 10th and I think it is imperative that the member governments reaffirm their commitment as expressed through the Peace and Security Council in January that they will look to the United Nations to rehat the AMIS force to provide them with the type of logistical support and planning support that they need, to help them with the Force generation as well as to help them financially.
Question: Are you with the African Union forces or you are pushing for the United Nations forces in there?
A/S Frazer: I think it is going to be a partnership between the African Union and the United Nations that is necessary to stop the fighting, to end the violence that is taking place in Darfur and so what we need is a core African troop and African leadership but we need the assistance of the United Nations and so what we have in many other African crises, in Liberia, in Cote D’Ivoire, in Burundi is the regional forces are the core and then the UN comes in and rehats them and provides them with a broader assistance that is necessary.
Question: How do you describe the Libyan American relations on this short visit?
A/S Frazer: I think that our relations are very strong and improving every single day and I think that my visit here is an example of that consultation, that cooperation that our two governments are increasingly engaged in and so I think that it is going to be very important for the United States and Libya to work closely together for regional stability and particularly to solve the crisis in Sudan in Darfur.
Question: Ms. Frazer is there a timeline that you are aiming for?
A/S Frazer: March 10th.
Question: For the solution of Darfur?
A/S Frazer: No, for the rehatting.