Envoy: Ways to solve Darfur crisis different

Updated: 2008-02-28 07:57

KHARTOUM -- Visiting Chinese government's special representative for Darfur, Liu Guijin, said Wednesday that the US and Chinese governments had no differences in principle regarding their policies on the Darfur crisis and yet the two states differed in the approach to resolving the issue.

"Through my engagement with US officials, through my engagement with previous US president's special envoys and the new one, the two states in principle have no differences over the Darfur issue," Liu told a news conference at the Chinese embassy in Khartoum before ending a four-day visit in Sudan.

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Liu said he held the first meeting on Monday at the Chinese embassy in Khartoum with new US special envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson, who was coincidentally also visiting this Arab country. It was Williamson's first visit to Sudan since his appointment last month.

"Both the Unites States and China are in favor of a political solution to the Darfur crisis ... both maintain that the dual- track strategy should be applied, ... thirdly both governments thinks that reconstruction and development efforts should follow the deployment of the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping forces in Darfur, " Liu said.

The dual-track strategy, initiated by China, is designed to push forward political negotiations and the peacekeeping mission in Darfur in a balanced manner.

Liu, however, said the two nations differ "in the approach," namely in "how to realize those objectives of our policies."

In the Darfur problem, the two countries diverge in "how to realize the peace and stability, how to seek a quick end to the conflict and stop bloodshedding and suffering of the ordinary people," he explained.

"For china, we oppose sanctions and embargoes because we think if others impose sanctions and embargoes against a certain nation, the consequence would be the suffering of the people. Sanction and embargo can't solve the problems," said Liu.

Five years ago, infighting in Darfur flared up after rebels took up arms against the Sudanese government, accusing it of marginalizing the arid region. A humanitarian crisis emerged in the Sudanese western region after years of conflicts and strives.

Western powers, particularly the Unites States, have been ratcheting up pressures and imposed sanctions against Khartoum over the Darfur issue.

Liu pointed out that around the world there are similar humanitarian crises, similar conflicts and similar bloodshedding in other nations.

"But unfortunately, other hotspots have not drawn such a degree of attention as the Darfur issue has drawn," he added, without naming those similar hotspots.

Liu arrived in the Sudanese capital early Sunday after visiting Britain. It is his fourth visit to this African nation since his appointment last May.

On Tuesday, Liu flew into South Darfur's capital city Nyala for a one-day visit to assess security and humanitarian situations there. It was his second visit to Darfur since his appointment.

Liu, a 62-year-old veteran diplomat and former Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe and South Africa, has been engaged in African affairs for more than 25 years.

Since resuming his current post, he had paid three visits to Sudan and also shuttled between the United States, Britain, Egypt and other countries concerned, making unremitting efforts to resolving the Darfur issue.

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