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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of African Affairs > Releases > Remarks > 2004: African Affairs Remarks

Remarks on Naivasha Talks on Sudan and the Security Council's Nairobi Trip

Ambassador John C. Danforth, U.S. Representative to the United Nations
Security Council Stakeout
New York City
November 16, 2004

USUN PRESS RELEASE

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH: Hi.  Iím traveling in a suit, that doesnít seem right does it?

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH:  You know I think itís so close, I think itís just wordsmithing now.  I mean weíre all of one mind.  This is a very, very important trip.  The Security Council is speaking with one voice, and we are expecting in short order a peace agreement from Naivasha to be concluded, and that of course is the responsibility of the parties to the peace talks.  But we feel itís very important that not only for the North-South Peace Agreement itself, but also to try and bring to an end this terrible disaster in Darfur.  So itís an important trip.  And I think all of us are a united front.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH:  Itís just 99.4% there.  No, itís very, very close.  And thereís really no delaying.  Thereís no daylight between us is what Iím saying. 

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH:  No, Iíd never heard that, I saw that in a press story.  But I think what is clear is that if there is peace in Sudan the international community is going to be there for Sudan.  In other words, itís up to the parties to decide which way they want to go.  If there is peace then the international community is going to be with that country in a positive way, in monitoring peace agreements, in a real presence, in providing support to the country, in development assistance to the country.  Weíre not simply going to see a peace agreement and then go on to the next subject.  This is going to be an ongoing responsibility and commitment by the international community. On the other hand, if the choice of the parties is not peace, but is continued fighting, if the disaster of Darfur continues, if civilians continue to be victimized, then of course the international community is going to continue to be interested, but in a very different kind of way.  So itís up to the parties, itís up to the government of Sudan and in these peace talks, the government of Sudan and the SPLM.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH:  Well, weíre certainly expecting the Secretary General to be there, weíre expecting John Garang to be there, weíre expecting Vice-President Taha and weíre expecting representatives of IGAD and the African Union.  So weíre looking at a number of other illustrious people. 

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH:  No.  No.  You mean the government of Sudan?

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH:  No. No. No.  They have not been invited.  And they donít have any role to play Ė thatís Abuja youíre talking about, not this.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH:  Donít know.

QUESTION: (inaudible) One final thing, how do you feel about Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State?

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH:  Sheís terrific.  Actually, Iíve been working with both Secretary Powell and Dr. Rice now for over three years with respect to the Sudan problem.  And I go way back with both of them; theyíre both terrific. 

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR DANFORTH:  Well, I think sheís very good.  And of course the big policymaker is the President himself.  And as the President said to me, when he asked me to do this job, he believes in the United Nations, he believes in the importance of the United Nations.  So thatís the position of our country and our government.  Thanks. 


Released on November 18, 2004

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