April 14, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — The US special envoy for Sudan is expected to hold a meeting with a Sudanese delegation in Roma Italy on Wednesday to discuss the deployment of Darfur peacekeeping force and the bilateral relations.
- US special envoy for Sudan Richard Williamson(L), seen here with Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor in Khartoum (Reuters)
Richard Williamson, who is in a European tour, will meet a delegation led by Sudanese foreign minister Deng Alor to discuss ways to speed up the deployment of Darfur peacekeeping troops and the normalisation of the bilateral relations.
The US Administration wants Sudan to remove obstacles to the deployment of a U.N.-led peacekeeping force, stop violence against civilians in Darfur, and carry out the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between north and south Sudan, including elections in 2009, The Los Angels Times reported last month.
The U.S. offered to restore full diplomatic ties, lift sanctions and remove Khartoum from Washington’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, Williamson said.
Sudanese foreign minister visited Washington last January for one week where he discussed the normalization with US officials.
Speaking to Akhbar al-Youm, Deng Alors said he will fly to Rome on Wednesday accompanied by Nafi Ali Nafi, the presidential assistant, who is government top negotiator for Darfur peace talks and Mutrif Sidiq foreign affairs secretary general who is in charge with Darfur peacekeeping force file.
Deng Alor said that the meeting will discuss the deployment of more troops in Darfur. He further disclosed that Sudan agreed to receive troops from Italia, New Zealand, and Thailand. The US official should tackle, in exchange, the gradual normalization of relations with Sudan, Alor concluded.
Williamson early in April urged in a letter to the U.N. chief the United Nations to speed deployment of more U.N.-African Union peacekeepers to Sudan’s war-racked Darfur region.
Following his return from Washington, Alor said that Washington had welcomed Sudanese demand to normalize bilateral relations but wants the national unity government to swiftly act to end Darfur crisis.