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US, NATO Not to Send Troops to Sudan: US Envoy
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The United States would not dispatch troops to Sudan, nor is there any plan of deploying NATO forces in Darfur, US envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios said on Tuesday.

In statements to Egypt's official MENA news agency, Natsios said that the United States would not change its stance on UN resolution 1706 on the deployment of international peacekeeping forces in Darfur under the UN umbrella, nor would it dispatch any troops to Sudan.

The US goal in Darfur was to improve the humanitarian situation through putting an end to the conflict there and repatriation of refugees, he said.

He said that there was no plan for deploying NATO forces in Darfur. The NATO would only keep extending logistical assistance as is the case with the current African troops now being deployed in the region.

The Khartoum government approved the principle of dispatching international forces to Darfur but insisted that the forces be under the command of the African Union, he said.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on Aug. 31 calling for the deployment of over 20,000 international peacekeepers to replace 7,800 AU forces in Darfur after gaining consent from Sudan.

However, the Sudanese government has rejected the mission transfer, saying it was a violation of Sudan's sovereignty and an effort by the West to colonize the African oil producing country.

Egypt has been firmly supporting Sudan's stance on the deployment of UN forces, saying that any deployment should first get approval from the Sudanese government.

(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2006)

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