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Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the recent peace treaty in the east of Sudan. (80271)

Preliminary talks between the Government of Sudan and the Eastern Front began in Asmara on 13 June, under Eritrean mediation. A UK representative was present. A Declaration of Principles and an agreement to cease violence was issued on 19 June. Formal talks are scheduled to start in mid-July. We support the parties in this effort and press them to negotiate in good faith in order to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army has successfully and peacefully completed its withdrawal from Hamishkoreib. This is a positive and important step. We continue to urge all sides to exercise restraint and not to take action that may inflame the situation.