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French minister says "progress" realized in Sudan’s Darfur region


KHARTOUM, July 30, 2005 (Sudan Tribune) — The French foreign minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said that some kind of progress has been realized, particularly on the humanitarian situation in Sudan’s Darfur region.

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Philippe Douste-Blazy

He further said “we must recommend the government’s effort in this regard; however, to some extent, the humanitarian situation, the security at the displaced camps still required some efforts to encourage the returning of the displaced people”.

He said French aid in support of Darfur cause has so far amounted to nearly 80m euro.

According to the French minister the restoration of peace in the southern Sudan will not be complete without solving the Darfur issue.

Regarding the southern Sudan, Douste-Blazy said France is keen to support the progress of peace implementation at the level of bilateral relations, with 35m euro as its contribution for the next two years to reconstruct what had been consumed by the war, besides other contribution through the EU, making the total to 120m euro.

Speaking at a press conference after the joint meeting with his Sudanese counterpart, the French foreign minister stressed his country’s support for the peace implementation plans.

The acting minister of external affairs, Mustafa Osman Ismail, has commended the strong ties that exist between Sudan and France, pointing out at that meetings by joint political committee between the two countries were about to resume, after it had been suspended for a while.

This was agreed upon following a meeting of second vice-president and the visiting French foreign minister, held after bilateral meeting between the two foreign ministers.

The French minister also held talks with a delegation of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The vice-president, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, has commended relationship between Sudan and France, and the French-provided aid to Sudan for reconstruction of what had been destroyed by the wars.

Having attended the meeting between the vice-president and the visiting French foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, the Sudanese acting foreign minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, said that the French minister appreciated steps concluded in implementing the peace agreement and the government’s efforts to solve the Darfur problems.

Mustafa told reporters that France will remain a friend to Sudan and will stand by it to resolve the Darfur problem, and to implement the peace agreement - in the framework of French-Sudanese bilateral relations, and from the EU point of it.

Also at the meeting, the French minister offered an invitation to the vice-president to visit France, stressing that the future will witness a boost of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

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