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China warns against damaging Darfur peace process
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Outside interference in Sudan might damage the Darfur peace process, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said in Beijing on Tuesday.

China was greatly concerned by the International Criminal Court's (ICC) attempts to prosecute Al-Bashir, Xi said, while meeting with Awad Ahmed al-Jaz, special envoy of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

An ICC prosecutor formally requested an arrest warrant on July 14 for Al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the western Sudan region of Darfur.

The international community should focus on promoting the deployment of a peace-keeping mission and push forward the political process to achieve substantive progress, Xi said.

Other parties should respect the stances of the League of Arab States (LAS) and the African Union (AU) on the issue and act prudently, Xi said.

Al-Jaz, Sudan's Minister of Finance and National Economy, said Sudan strongly opposed the indictment of President al-Bashir. The LAS, the AU, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and nations of Asia and Africa had shown support for Sudan, he said.

Sudan was ready to strengthen communication with China and other friendly nations on the issue and would continue to promote a proper settlement for Darfur, he said.

Xi said the two nations had enjoyed remarkable achievements in cooperation and China would work with Sudan to comprehensively develop friendly and cooperative relations.

Xi briefed the guests on preparations for the Olympic Games.

"With the support of the international community, we have the confidence and determination to make the Beijing Olympics a grand sports gathering," Xi said.

Al-Jaz said Sudan applauded China's preparations for the Games, and wished for their complete success.

He arrived on Monday for a three-day visit to China.

(Xinhua News Agency July 30, 2008)

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