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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > May
Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 1, 2006


Deputy Secretary Zoellick to travel to Abuja, Nigeria

Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick will depart today for Abuja, Nigeria, to try to assist the African Union mediation team find solutions to the remaining issues regarding a peace agreement for Darfur. The United States has worked closely with the AU and other international partners to energize the Abuja peace negotiations, and welcomed the comprehensive negotiating text presented by the AU on April 26.

The parties have made progress in recent days, but some key issues remain unresolved. The United States urges the Darfur rebel movements to focus on the few key issues that stand in the way of reaching a settlement, and we urge the Government of Sudan to send a senior representative back to Abuja to finalize the peace agreement. All parties should make a concentrated effort to seize this opportunity for peace.

The Deputy Secretary will support Salim Salim and the AU mediation team in an effort to close the gaps between the parties. Apart from this effort, the Deputy Secretary will also hope to meet with Nigerian President OlusegunObasanjo and other AU leaders who will be in Abuja this week for high-level AU meetings. He will meet with commanders of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to discuss the present security situation in Darfur, ways to ensure the delivery of humanitarian relief, and how to improve security for people living in displaced persons camps.

Deputy Secretary Zoellick will be joining the U.S. team in Abuja, led by Ambassador Cameron Hume, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Sudan. This team has been working intensively with the AU mediators and the parties. Zoellick will be accompanied by Jendayi E. Frazer, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Roger Winter, Special Representative for Sudan.

2006/435

Released on May 1, 2006

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