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Egypt wants guaranties to persuade Sudan to accept UN force

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Sept 22, 2006 (CAIRO) — Egypt launched mediation to convince Sudan to accept the United Nation forces takeover in Darfur. Egypt tries to obtain some guaranties on the deployment of UN peacekeepers in favor of the Sudan government.

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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Beshir in Alexandria, Sept 17, 2005.

According to Arabic language al-Sahafa, the Egyptian government and the Saudi Arabia are exerting efforts to persuade Sudan to accept the deployment of the international peacekeepers in war-torn region of Darfur.

Sudan would receives guaranties that the UN forces would not be used against the government officials, and the US would give pledge to lift economic sanctions imposed on the Sudan since 1997, the report said.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on August 31, authorizing up to 22,500 police and troops for Darfur, once Sudan allows in the force. Otherwise troop contributors will not fight their way in.

Sudan repeatedly rejects the deployment of UN forces in Darfur. President Bashir has likened a U.N. presence to an invasion force bent on regime change in Khartoum, which diplomats said was based on an apprehension his regime would be toppled.

Cairo and Riyadh also seeking to accord the right for the Sudanese government to demand the departure of the international forces from the country since it feels that these forces represent a danger for the integrity of the country and its stability, the report said.

Washington said that Egyptian president Mubarak agreed during a telephone conversation with US president Bush on the importance of the UN takeover in Darfur.

"They expressed a strong commitment to effecting the transition to a UN force," the official said.

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.

(ST)

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