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25 February 2005

New U.S. Officials in Sudan Will Support Peace Agreement

United States strongly backs African Union in Darfur, Boucher says

The United States is stepping up support of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a statement February 25.

The department has appointed several officials to engage the government on critical issues, including the crisis in Darfur, and to address the humanitarian situation there, he said.

Following is the text of the statement:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
February 25, 2005

STATEMENT BY RICHARD BOUCHER, SPOKESMAN

U.S. Actions to Support Sudan Peace Process

The United States is taking several actions to support the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan. This agreement provides a sound basis for achieving stability and national unity throughout Sudan, particularly with respect to Darfur and other areas still affected by conflict.  The United States urges both sides to implement the Agreement fully and rapidly, and to seize this opportunity to resolve the crisis in Darfur.

We have strengthened our diplomatic presence by appointing Ambassador David Kaeuper as Chargé d'Affaires of the American Embassy in Khartoum. Ambassador Kaeuper has arrived in the Sudanese capital and will engage the Sudanese government on critical issues including the crisis in Darfur, implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and delivering life-saving humanitarian aid to millions of Sudanese threatened by displacement and food shortages. The Embassy has also sent an official to Southern Sudan with a view to establishing a U.S. diplomatic presence there.

The United States has named former Ambassador to Sudan Donald Petterson as its representative to the Abyei Commission, which will resolve border issues in the Abyei region, and which was the subject of one of the protocols constituting the Comprehensive Peace Accord.  In addition, we plan to name a senior official to the Assessment and Evaluation Commission, which will be established to monitor and report on implementation of the Agreement.  We urge the parties to establish this and the other Commissions called for in the Agreement as quickly as possible.

The United States is committed to working closely with the international community to provide assistance and to promote peace, security and reconciliation in Sudan.  We take this opportunity to underscore our grave concerns about the violence and atrocities in Darfur.  Darfur remains a major priority, and the United States will continue its strong support for the African Union mission in Darfur.  The United States will not fully normalize relations with Sudan until the situation in Darfur is stabilized.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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