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UN, African Union envoys meet with President of Sudan

18 February 2007 Wrapping up a visit to Sudan aimed at reviving the stalled peace process for the strife-torn Darfur region, envoys from the United Nations and the African Union held talks with the country's president, who indicated that he would support dialogue with different factions.

The AU's Salim Ahmed Salim and the UN's Jan Eliasson on Saturday briefed President Omar Hassan Al Bashir on the outcome of the discussions they held with senior government officials and both signatories and non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA).

President Al Bashir “stressed the commitment of the Government to support the dialogue with non-DPA signatories and expressed Sudan's keenness to improve relations with Chad,” according to the UN Mission in the country (UNMIS), which said the Sudanese leader also pledged to boost humanitarian work and cooperate with UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The two envoys are expected to report in the coming days to their respective organizations on the outcome of their joint mission.

Before departing on their visit, Mr. Eliasson and Dr. Salim said they “will be delivering a strong message” on the urgent need for an end to the political and humanitarian crisis engulfing Darfur, where at least 200,000 people have been killed and 2 million others displaced from their homes since 2003.

A cessation of hostilities is seen as the first priority so that humanitarian operations can take place and the suffering of civilians can be alleviated. An estimated 4 million people across the vast and impoverished region now depend on aid for survival.

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