KHARTOUM, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday welcomed a U.S. offer to airlift requirements of the hybrid peacekeeping force of the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) to the western Sudanese region of Darfur.
Spokesman of the Sudanese Foreign Ministry Ali al-Sadiq told reporters that the offer put forward by outgoing President George W. Bush to transport requirements of the hybrid force, which is known as the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), was "a positive step."
He said the offer came within the context of the American logistical support and assistance in the deployment of the hybrid troops as soon as possible.
The spokesman said the step also came within the pledge made by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Presidential Envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson in their meeting with Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha during a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, in September last year.
He said the step, although coming somewhat late, would be hopedto contribute in the efforts exerted by the AU and the UN and other countries concerned to complete the deployment of the hybrid peacekeeping troops in Darfur and in implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1769 on the Darfur peacekeeping operation.
He added this step would be discussed by representatives of the Sudanese government, the AU and the UN during a tripartite mechanism meeting to be held in Addis Ababa in mid-January.
Meanwhile, the spokesman denied any relation between the U.S. move and an arrest warrant which is expectedly issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudanese President Omaral-Bashir within few weeks.
Bush issued on Monday an executive order to airlift equipments needed by the UNAMID.
The order said the "airlift of equipment for peacekeeping in Darfur without reimbursement from the United Nations is important to the security interests of the United States."
Bush's national security adviser Stephen Hadley said the move provides a waiver from the 15-day congressional notification requirements to allow for the airlift to proceed immediately.