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China to continue to seek solution to Darfur issue
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Chinese ambassador to Norway Gao Jian said Tuesday in Norwegian capital Oslo that China will continue to work closely with other parties concerned and try its best to provide support and assistance for the purpose of seeking a solution to the Darfur issue in Sudan, according to reports reaching Stockholm.

At an international donors' conference, Gao made a speech about the Darfur issue on behalf of the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

He said China has done its utmost to seek an appropriate solution to the Darfur issue which includes actively participating in the peace-keeping operation in the region.

"We have committed ourselves of sending a 315-man engineering unit. So far, the first team of 143 engineers has already been dispatched to Darfur and undertaking its jobs now. China is the first country which has entered the region from outside of Africa in this regard," the ambassador said.

"Up to now, we have offered 80 million RMB of humanitarian assistance to the region and an additional 1.8 million U.S. dollars to the AU peace-keeping mission. And also in recent, we donated 500,000 U.S. dollars to the UN Trust Fund which has helped to finance the mediation efforts of the AU and the UN special envoys," he said.

In dealing with the Darfur issue, China has been all along a firm believer of the "dual-track" strategy, and we are convinced that the peace-keeping operation and the process of political negotiations should be pushed forward in a balanced way, Gao emphasized.

It is our hope that all relevant parties would continue to promote a faster deployment of the Hybrid Mission, in particular through the main channel of "the tripartite mechanism" i.e. the Sudanese government, the AU and the UN, he said.

China is very much concerned about the lacking of progress in the political process and "we call for the international community to exert positive influence urging the opposition parties in the Darfur region to return to the negotiation table at an earlier date", Gao added.

The two-day Sudan Donor Nations Conference will review progress on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war in Sudan, according to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.

The meeting is also expected to generate new pledges of aid and donations to support reconstruction and further development in Sudan, the ministry said in a statement.

(Xinhua News Agency May 7, 2008)

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