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Friday, September 22, 2006

Egypt supports Sudan’s position on Darfur - Mubarak

Sept 21, 2006 (CAIRO) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told his visiting Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir that Egypt supported the stance of Sudan on its western Darfur region, state media reported.

Mubarak told Bashir that Egypt supported Sudan’s position on Darfur, underlining that a possible deployment of UN forces could only be conducted with consent from the Sudanese government.

The Egyptian President made the remarks during a meeting with Bashir who made a stopover in Cairo on his way back to Sudan after attending the 61st UN General Assembly session in New York, the official MENA news agency said.

During their talks, the two leaders exchanged views on a number of Arab and regional issues, especially the situation in the western Sudanese region of Darfur in light of a decision by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on extending the mandate of AU forces in Darfur until the end of December, it said.

The talks also pored over the outcome of Mubarak’s contacts with world leaders on means to realize stability and security in Darfur, said MENA.

The Mubarak-Bashir talks came one day after Mubarak held phone talks with U.S. President George W. Bush on the Mideast situation and efforts to establish security and stability in the region and resume the peace process.

Sudan has repeatedly said that it refused the deployment of international peacekeepers in Darfur.

In late August, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution which calls for the deployment of up to 20,000 UN peacekeepers in Darfur to replace the cash-strapped AU troops with consent of the Sudanese government.

However, Sudan also rejected the resolution and equated the deployment of UN forces in Darfur to a war on this country.

The Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003 when rebels took up arms against the government, accusing it of marginalizing the region.

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