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Sudan: Politics and Government

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Russian Government and (b) the Chinese Government on the political and security situation in Darfur. (228178)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed Darfur with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang on 27 September in New York.

We have regular discussions with the officials of the Russian and Chinese Governments about Darfur. We have urged them to support the effective deployment of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur and to use their influence with the Government of Sudan to press Sudan to fulfil its commitments and end the violence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Darfur; and if he will make a statement. (228190)

The new UN-African Union Chief Mediator for the Darfur political process, Djibril Bassolé, former Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso, arrived in Sudan on 28 August. This is a welcome step in renewing the Darfur political process. We stand ready to support him in his efforts to reinvigorate the peace process.

Following the application by the International Criminal Court's Prosecutor for an arrest warrant for President Bashir on 14 July, the Government of Sudan announced plans for a "Sudan People's Initiative" on Darfur which held its first meeting on 16 October. The Government of Qatar and the Arab League have also announced that they want to work on a peace initiative for Darfur. We hope these initiatives will support the efforts of the UN-African Union Chief Mediator and lead to a sustainable peace.