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Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the progress and prospects of the peace process in Sudan. [113641]

New momentum has been injected into the Sudan peace process following the summit meeting between President Bashir and Dr. Garang in Nairobi on 2 April. Both leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to the peace process, the Machakos Protocol, and the agreements on cessation of hostilities and unimpeded humanitarian access.There are outstanding problems which need to be resolved, on power and wealth sharing, the three conflict areas and ceasefire and security issues. Discussion of these issues has now begun and we are optimistic about the prospects for peace. There is a good chance of agreement this year.