China advises peacekeeping for Darfur

Updated: 2007-06-19 11:34

LONDON - China used "very direct language" to persuade the Sudanese government in Khartoum to accept a beefed-up peacekeeping force to the western region of Darfur, the country's special envoy to Sudan said in an interview published Tuesday.

A UN Security Council delegation said on Sunday in Khartoum that it had secured the unconditional agreement of the Sudanese government for the deployment of a beefed up peacekeeping force to Darfur.

Following a fact-finding mission to Sudan, Liu Guijin told the Financial Times that though China had not criticised Khartoum in public, it had been direct in private.

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"In our own way and through various means and various channels we have tried to advise the Sudanese government to be more flexible," he told the business daily.

"Even on certain issues like (whether) to accept the Annan plan (for a joint African Union-UN peacekeeping force), we use very direct language to persuade them (sic)."

Asked if China was concerned that the conflict in Darfur would affect its oil interests in Sudan, Liu said: "As with any investor in any country it is logical that the investor hopes to have a more stable, more peaceful situation."

"That is something quite natural. But currently we do not see imminent danger. We are pushing for the long-term solution. We are pushing for the restoration of peace and stability."

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