KHARTOUM, Jan. 24 (Saba) -- The Sudanese government on Sunday reiterated its commitment to cooperating with the African Union- United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to help perform its tasks in the region, according to Xinhua.
UNAMID's new chief Ibrahim Gambari on Sunday held separate talks in Khartoum with the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, al- Sammani al-Wasila, and the ministry undersecretary, Mutrif Siddiq.
Mohamed Abdalla Iddris, Director of the Peace Department at the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, told reporters following the talks that "Gambari has been reassured by the ministry officials that the Sudanese government, at all levels, would cooperate with UNAMID to help it carry out its mandate in Darfur."
He said the talks focused on UNAMID efforts and deployment of its peacekeepers, adding that "there is a great progress regarding the deployment of UNAMID peacekeepers. The talks affirmed importance of moving to the next phase to exploit UNAMID abilities in a way that would help in improving the security and humanitarian conditions in Darfur."
He underscored the important role being played by UNAMID in the region, expressing hope that the new chief of the mission would follow steps of his predecessor, Congolese diplomat Rodolphe Adada.
Gambari, for his part, pledged full cooperation with all parties to implement UNAMID mandate.
"During the conversation, we reviewed all aspects of the situation in Darfur, (including) the humanitarian, security and political dimensions," he told reporters following the talks.
"We have affirmed our commitment to working jointly and cooperatively to address the remaining challenges in Darfur and so that we can do everything possible to implement the mandate of UNAMID," he said.
Gambari said he would head for Darfur to get acquainted with the situation on the ground and hold consultations with UNAMID leaders in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur State, before going to Addis Ababa for a tripartite mechanism, which brings together the Sudanese government, the African Union and the United Nations.
Gambari, a Nigerian diplomat, arrived in Khartoum on Friday on his first visit to Sudan since he was appointed as the Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in consultation with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping.
UNAMID took over the peacekeeping mission in Darfur from the African Union Mission in Sudan on Dec. 31, 2007. The mission is expected this year to complete deployment of its full authorized presence in the region, which mounts to 26,000 military, police and civilian forces.