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China Welcomes UN Troop Deployment in Darfur
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China has hailed the United Nations Security Council resolution 1769 which makes official the deployment a UN-African Union (AU) hybrid peacekeeping force in Sudan's western region of Darfur, and expects that all parties will aid the implementation of the resolution, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao on Thursday.

"This is an important step towards resolving the Darfur issue, and we hope all parties value the current positive momentum, and fully take advantage of the multilateral negotiation mechanism to smoothly implement the resolution," said Liu.

He did warn that the peacekeeping mission is only one aspect of remedying the Darfur issue, and that the "double track" strategy - a balanced combination of political process and the peacekeeping mission - should be maintained.

Liu called for the international community to help speed up the political process, improve the humanitarian situation in Darfur and aid Sudan in kick-starting development there, saying that all these measures were necessary to realizing lasting peace in Darfur.

The UN Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt Resolution 1769, which will set in motion the deployment of a 26,000- strong joint UN-AU peacekeeping force in Darfur.

Under the resolution, co-sponsored by Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, Peru and Slovakia, the "hybrid operation" in Darfur is mandated for an initial period of 12 months, and will be comprised of 19,555 military personnel, up to 3,772 international police and 19 formed police units with up to 2,660 officers.

The resolution also stipulated the hybrid force shall have a "predominantly African character," which means African troops will be considered first.

(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2007)

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