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Chinese envoy calls for pressing Darfur rebel groups to restart talks
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China's envoy for the Darfur issue on Sunday urged nations with influence over rebel groups in the Darfur region to pressure them to return to negotiations with the Sudanese government.

"The reluctance of Darfur's main rebel groups to return to the negotiating table has resulted in the disappointing tardiness of the political process in Darfur during the last few months," Liu Guijin told Xinhua upon his arrival in Khartoum for a visit to Sudan.

"Only if those main rebel groups return to the negotiating table, could Darfur achieve a certain extent of stability and the peacekeeping mission be carried out smoothly," he said.

The Darfur peace talks, which have been deadlocked since a peace deal was signed between the Sudanese government and a major anti-government group in May 2006, were resumed in Libya last October under the auspices of the United Nations and the African Union (AU).

However, six rebel factions from war-torn Darfur refused to attend the talks, claiming the Sudanese government "does not have the necessary legitimacy to negotiate."

The Chinese envoy said a settlement of the the Darfur issue calls for the implementation of the dual-track strategy, which is designed to push forward political negotiations and the peacekeeping mission in a balanced manner.

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