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 You are in: Bureaus/Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary > Deputy Secretary of State > Former Deputy Secretaries of State > Former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick > Remarks > 2006

Status of Darfur Peace Negotiations in Abuja

Robert B. Zoellick, Deputy Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 30, 2006

The United States believes that a critical step to end the violence and suffering afflicting the people of Darfur is a peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the rebel groups. President Bush is deeply committed to helping the people of Darfur, and under his leadership the United States has been working with the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and other international actors to reinvigorate the peace talks. Since the March meetings we held in Europe, the Abuja peace negotiations have concentrated with new intensity on achieving a concrete result promptly.

The United States welcomed the comprehensive negotiating text presented by the AU on April 26.

The AU, backed by the UN and the other international parties, set an April 30 deadline for completing the negotiations. This deadline has proven useful to press agreement on certain issues and sharpen the focus on remaining differences.

Negotiators from all sides have been working diligently to find a way forward. The parties have made progress, and we and the AU believe it is possible for them to reach an accord. We are urging the parties to finalize the agreement right away.

Today in Washington and other cities, many Americans are gathering to express their concerns over the tragedy in Darfur. People want a solution. Their activism and energy is commendable. With their support and encouragement, the United States will continue to do everything it can to reduce the suffering and violence in Darfur. The United States will continue to play a leading role diplomatically, work to improve security and to provide humanitarian aid, and press to strengthen the AU peacekeepers in Darfur and to transition the peacekeeping to a UN force.

Abuja negotiators must keep their eye on the vital goal - achieving peace in Darfur so that Darfurians can return to their homes and live in a secure peace that offers hope. Much good work has been done, and should not be allowed to slip away. Peace must be achieved in Abuja.

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