Home | News    Friday 29 May 2009

Chinese special envoy meets Darfur rebels

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May 28, 2009 (DOHA) — Ambassador Liu Guijin, the Chinese envoy to Sudan, met today with rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement in the Qatari capital where there are various meetings on the Darfur conflict.

This meeting with the rebels is the first such public meeting by Khartoum’s strong international ally, which supported the Sudanese government at the UN Security Council and is also seen as the main weapons supplier of the Sudanese army.

China, Sudan’s primary economic partner, also has troops taking part in the hybrid mission in Darfur and recently started oil exploration in northern Darfur in the Jabel Atroon area not far from the border with Libya.

Ahmed Hussein Adam, JEM spokesperson, said they called upon China to review its unconditional diplomatic support to the Sudanese government stressing that such a position distorts the image of Beijing, presenting it as a partner in the atrocities practiced by Khartoum against Darfur civilians.

The rebel official, who described the meeting as "transparent", said they urged the Chinese government to have a neutral position and to "keep the same distance from all the warring parties."

Guijin told the rebel delegation that the Chinese government always adheres to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. He also stressed that Beijing is supporting regional and international efforts to settle the conflict peacefully, Ahmed said.

The JEM spokesperson said they also tackled with the Chinese envoy the killing of three Chinese oil workers last October after their kidnapping by a local group.

Sudanese government officials had accused JEM of kidnapping and killing the Chinese workers but JEM denied the charge saying they had no link with the kidnappers.

The Chinese envoy is expected tomorrow Friday to begin a five-day visit to Sudan for talks with government officials on the Darfur peace process.

"The envoy’s visit is very important because it comes after his meeting with US and Russian envoys for Sudan in Doha," said Ali Sadiq, foreign ministry spokesperson.

(ST)

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