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Hu Puts Forward Four-point Principle on Solving Darfur Issue
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Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday put forward a four-point principle for the concerned parties to observe in the pursuit of a solution to the Darfur issue.

During the talks with his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir in Khartoum, Hu said that China appreciates efforts by the Sudanese government, the African Union, the Arab League, the United Nations and countries concerned to solve the Darfur issue, and hopes that the issue could be solved as soon as possible.

He said China believes that it is imperative to observe the following four principles in the pursuit of a solution to the Darfur issue:

The first principle is to respect Sudan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said, adding that the settlement of the issue should be helpful for Sudan's reconciliation process, its national unity and regional peace and stability.

The second principle is to solve the issue by peaceful means and by sticking to dialogue and coordination based on equality.

It is imperative for the parties concerned to take into consideration the overall situation and from a long-term perspective, respect and address each other's reasonable concerns, and seek shared interests through dialogue in order to find out a just solution, he said.

Hu went on to say that the African Union and the United Nations should play constructive roles in a peacekeeping mission in Darfur, adding that wisdom and creativity should be employed in order to improve the efficiency of the peacekeeping mission to create favorable conditions for achieving peace in the region.

"China supports the process of seeking a political solution to the issue," Hu said.

The fourth principle is that it is imperative to improve the situation in Darfur and living conditions of local people, he said.

What is important right now is to achieve a comprehensive ceasefire in Darfur and speed up the process of political negotiations and let those who have not signed the Darfur Peace Accord join the peace process as soon as possible, he said.

Meanwhile, it is important to ensure the delivery of humanitarian relief to improve living conditions of local people, he added.

For this purpose, China has decided to once again offer an assistance valued at 40 million RMB (about 5.2 million US dollars) to the Darfur region, he said.

After the talks, the two leaders attended the signing ceremony of seven cooperation documents covering economy and technology.

On Friday afternoon, the Chinese president also visited an oil refinery in Khartoum.

Hu arrived here earlier in the day for a two-day state visit to Sudan, the third leg of his eight-nation African tour, which has taken him to Cameroon, Liberia and will take him to Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Seychelles.

Hu's African trip came only three months after the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, at which Chinese and African leaders agreed to establish and develop a new type of strategic partnership, featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchange.

Earlier, the Chinese president described his African trip as "a journey of friendship and cooperation."

He said that his current visit to the eight African countries aims to consolidate the traditional friendship between China and Africa, implement the agreements reached at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last November, increase substantial cooperation and promote common development.

(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2007)

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