Home | News    Monday 30 April 2007

Saudi Arabia describes the situation in Darfur as ‘tragic’

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By Wasil Ali

April 29, 2007 (WASHINGTON) — The Saudi Ambassador to the US, Adel Al-Jubeir, has described the situation as tragic in the first characterization of its kind from a Saudi official. Al-Jubeir, speaking to reporters following his meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said that his country supports a regional solution to the crisis.

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Adel Al-Jubeir

Saudi’s King Abdullah has brokered an agreement during the Arab summit in Riyadh in March, between the Sudanese president and the UN chief on the heavy support package to assist the African Union forces in Darfur.

Al-Jubeir said that he discussed the situation in Darfur with Ban and the negotiations underway to seek a resolution to the conflict and increasing the number of UN peacekeepers in Darfur. He said that Saudi Arabia is seeking to solve the crisis on a more regional basis.

The Saudi envoy would not say whether his country is willing to contribute troops to Darfur but he said that his country “will bear its responsibilities to alleviate the sufferings of our brothers in Sudan”.

Sudan has recently agreed to a "heavy support package" with 3,000 U.N. troops, police and civilian personnel along with six attack helicopters. The UN held meetings with troop donor countries to assess their willingness to send forces to Darfur as part of the second phase. The Sudanese officials said they will not accept any non-African troops in Darfur.

(ST)

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