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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 23, 2007


Support for UN/AU-Led Political Efforts to End the Violence in Darfur

The United States welcomes the United Nations/African Union effort to advance the peace process in Darfur by convening a meeting of leading personalities of the Darfur rebel groups in Arusha, Tanzania, August 3-5, 2007. Supported by the international community, including neighboring states Libya, Chad, Eritrea, and Egypt, UN Special Envoy Jan Eliasson and AU Special Envoy Salim Ahmed Salim organized the meeting to lay the groundwork with the non-signatory rebels for renewed negotiations with the Government of Sudan. Achieving a political settlement is essential to ending the suffering of the people of Darfur.

The United States urges all invited participants to attend the Arusha conference without preconditions, and calls on the rebel participants to include field commanders in their delegations. Refusal to participate in the meeting would demonstrate a lack of commitment to solving the crisis in Darfur and would impede the peace process.

The United States also urges all the parties to the Darfur conflict, including rebel groups and the Government of Sudan, to cease hostilities and pursue a peaceful resolution. We look forward to the deployment of the UN/AU hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur, the cessation of hostilities in the region and a political settlement that leads to a sustainable peace in Sudan.

2007/623


Released on July 23, 2007

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