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Press Availability With French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Paris, France
June 26, 2007


SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: I think our actions should be concentrated into four areas: first, humanitarian assistance; second, hybrid operations, peacekeeping operations and development and most importantly, political process. We have achieved considerable progress in hybrid track and once we have achieved credible progress in political process, we must step up at this time to strengthen this political process involving all the rebel leaders of most of Sudan and all major players, major stakeholders all brought together. My roadmap is to enter into a third phase of negotiation after going through pre-negotiation and (inaudible) as soon as possible; preferably before this summer, of course.

And we have entered the beginning of the third phase in high peacekeeping operations and we have signed the joint -- the humanitarian communiqué with the Government of Sudan and this (inaudible) Quartet is satisfied. This delivery has been made in humanitarian assistance and at the same time, we also should keep a certain vision, a roadmap to government and people of Sudan and even the rebel groups how the international community would help them in their efforts to reconstruct and develop their (inaudible) country.

This is very important in four areas. We have had a very good meeting and I am also convinced that (inaudible) that all the participants have agreed that this process should be proceeded within the framework of the African Union and United Nations initiative. And at this time, I'd like to emphasize the very essential, crucial, essential important role African Union has been playing and I'm committed, as I've said many times, that this is the highest priority on my agenda as the Secretary General of the United Nations. Again, I thank you very much for the initiative of the French Government, President, and the Foreign Minister, and all donor countries and the European Union and major players in this issue. I need strong support of the international community in this regard. Thank you very much.


QUESTION: Can I ask you, what do you think has been achieved today in Paris? Thank you.

PARTICIPANT: Yes, it is a problem that --

SECRETARY RICE: Yes.Does it work?Are you able to hear me? Good. Well, first of all, I very much applaud the initiative of President Sarkozy and Minister Kouchner to bring us together, first of all, to reaffirm the essential importance of resolving the Darfur crisis. The international community simply cannot continue to sit by, even though we've been working very, very hard, but we really must redouble our efforts and I think that that is the spirit of today's conference.

I also found it very interesting to take stock of where we were and where we are. I learned a good deal more about Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's roadmap policy intended to get to the UN hybrid force coming into Sudan. I learned a good deal from (inaudible) about the force generation process for the UN. And on the humanitarian front, I think we have an update on what we need to do then and a forward-looking discussion of what reconstruction we might have.

I would also note that this was very important, in that it was put in the context of all of Sudan. Several comments spoke to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was signed between

Southern Sudan and the Government of Khartoum and the importance of not losing sight of that. So it was not, as Bernard had said, a peace conference. The point here was to take stock of where we are and to make sure that we are doing everything that we can.

I also heard very strongly that those of us who have been around this crisis for a while are going to work very hard to safeguard against any backtracking. We have had circumstances in which we've had agreements before and those agreements have not gone forward. And it is extremely important now that the, I think, quite active process that the Secretary General is leading along with the African Union be fully supported, but fully supported also by the regional actors and by the Government of Khartoum. So this was an opportunity to get everyone together to know exactly what we have to do and I think we now have to recommit to go back and do it. And the United States is committed to do exactly that.

QUESTION: (In French.)

SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: There was strong reaffirmations of every agreement between myself and President Bashir and African Union -- this hybrid cooperation. And we also agreed that he -- he sent me a letter last month that he would do his best efforts to step up this political process, ensuring the humanitarian assistance, ensuring this (inaudible) hybrid cooperations. I'd like to have trust on him that he has to show his commitment by action, by his deed. In fact, the international community has been waiting too long and the people in Darfur have suffered too much. So this time is for action, particularly by President Bashir. And at the same time, I'd like to urge the rebel group of movement leaders that they should also show press availability and political leadership and to participate in this political process. Thank you.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) news agency. I have a question for the UN Secretary General. Everyone talks about the increase of violence in Darfur, but everyone quotes the same figures from 2004, that 200,000 people have been killed. Since then, no one has any proof that violence is actually going on. Can you explain that?

SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: I have been also very disappointed by what has happened during the last four years and 200,000 people have been killed. Still, there are many people who are suffering from, first of all, lack of security, lack of humanitarian -- basic need -- basic humanitarian need. This is why international community must act together. This is a very serious one and I'm encouraged by recent, slow, but credible and considerable progress which we have achieved in peacekeeping operation as well as humanitarian assistance and some credible political process -- political dialogue, process. With this process, I'm very much committed to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

QUESTION: Thank you. To Madame Secretary, a non-Sudan question, if I might. Al-Qaida's deputy leader today called on Muslims worldwide to back Hamas with weapons, money, and attacks on U.S. and Israeli interests. Until now, al-Qaida hasn't been a great factor among the Palestinians. Do you think that's about to change and what might the consequences be if it does?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think that clearly, extremism in the Middle East and, unfortunately, in the Palestinian territories continues and extremists link up with extremists. I think that we have an answer to how to deal with the situation in the Palestinian territories. That is to support the president of all the Palestinian people. That is to support those who are committed to a two-state solution. That is to support the needs of the Palestinian people for humanitarian assistance, whether they are in Gaza or in the West Bank.

But it is to recommit very strongly to the establishment of a two-state solution because, to focus on something the Secretary General just said about the people of Sudan, I think it's also the case that the Palestinian people have lived long enough without their state and the Israeli people have lived long enough without the security that two states living side-by-side in a peace agreement would have.

And I think we'd like to go back to Darfur.

MODERATOR: Yes, please. Is it on Darfur?

QUESTION: Yes, absolutely. Thank you. Madame Secretary and Mister Secretary General, the big question for a lot of us here today is, how did China react during the meeting today? As China has a significant influence on Sudan. Did you manage to make your wishes for Darfur prevail on the Chinese, and did they respond to this? Thank you.

SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: I have heard that during the several months about Chinese conditions on Darfur. As far as I'm concerned as Secretary General, I'm satisfied with what the Chinese Government has been contributing to the resolution of this issue.

First of all, I had this matter closely discussed with the Chinese Government. China's president had paid a state visit to Darfur February of this year. Recently, China has appointed a special envoy who is trying to deal with 40,000 situations and they have been dispatching senior-level officials, urging China -- Sudanese Government to fully cooperate with the international community, particularly with the United Nations and African Union. I think the Chinese Government has been playing a constructive role in this and I think (inaudible) continue the cooperation.

QUESTION: (In French.)

SECRETARY GENERAL BAN: First of all, I have already explained about my vision and my roadmap. I have explained to you that there needs to be progress -- progressing hand-in-hand (inaudible). Now we have been (inaudible) almost at the end of the first phase of political process and we have settled and strengthened this political process. My Special Envoy, Mr. Jan Eliasson and African Union Special Envoy Mr. Salim Ahmed Salim, they have been highly (inaudible) to meet with all (inaudible) and regional players.

We are now seeing some credible signs, credible progress in this. But still, there are two more phases we have to proceed. During this summer time, we'd like to, first of all, have some composures of initiatives and enter into some pre-negotiation phase. I hope with this process we can enter into will forward negotiation third phase.

Now as far as the peacekeeping operation is concerned, we have until the beginning of the third phase, this is the final phase. We expect that these hybrid cooperations will begin to be deployed as soon as possible. Through this transition and you may remember that the African Union Peace and Security Council has adopted mandating this African mission in Sudan until the end of December. This is going to be a transition. There is a potential for activity that we can have some small transitions toward the deployment of hybrid cooperations as early as next year (inaudible) international community should strengthen and provide fundings to (inaudible) and also to contributing countries (inaudible) fully cooperate with this hybrid process.

QUESTION: (In French.)

PARTICIPANT: Oh, yes, of course it's all right.

SECRETARY RICE: Yes, the United States uses unilateral sanctions and we have worked with others about -- concerning sanctions of the United Nations Security Council. And the purpose of sanctions is not for sanctions; it is so that the Sudanese Government knows that the international community is absolutely serious about Sudan keeping its commitments, that Sudan has a history of agreeing to things and then starting to condition or change them or to backtrack and say, well, no, we didn't really agree to that, we didn't agree to that. And we've lost a lot of time while agreements have been made that have not been kept. We can no longer afford a situation in Darfur in which agreements are made and then not kept. And so the United States will continue to argue that there must be consequences -- there must be consequences for Sudan if it does not live up to the obligations that it has undertaken.

We are very supportive of the diplomacy that the Secretary General is engaged in, so there is a history here and until Sudan has actually carried out the commitments that it has taken, I think we have to keep the possibility of (inaudible) on the table.

PARTICIPANTS: (In foreign languages.)

SECRETARY RICE: I would just make one point -- one of the things that I think comes out of this conference today is the degree to which all of these pieces are really integrated. There needs to be an active peace process. We heard from Jan Eliasson and that process really must succeed. There must be, obviously, a continuing of the humanitarian effort.

But the United States has spent $2 billion on humanitarian assistance since 2005 and we are the largest food aid donor, we're the largest donor to Sudan. And we have, with the Comprehensive Agreement, had plans for the reconstruction of the South and for working with the government. But it really begins with security and I think that that came through very clearly here. What we must do is to make sure that the AMIS forces are supported and then that there is a transition to a hybrid force as quickly as possible.

The UN and all of us are accustomed to the infrastructure that the UN peacekeeping has. We need to be able to make use of that because we are all very concerned that the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate if we cannot get security. There are more than a hundred -- almost 150,000 more internally displaced people since January. That means that we can't afford to wait. And I think that the degree to which all of these cases are integrated, including the regional dimension was one of the most important elements of this conference.



Released on June 26, 2007

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