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French FM arrives in Khartoum

7/29/2005 11:43pm

KHARTOUM, July 29, 2005 (Xinhua) -- French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy arrived here Friday morning for talks with Sudanese officials on bilateral ties and cooperation, Sudan's official SUNA news agency reported.

Blazy was quoted by SUNA as saying at Khartoum Airport that his visit came within the framework of distinguished relations between France and Sudan.

He appreciated efforts exerted by all concerned parties to realize peace in southern Sudan, calling for more efforts to realize stability in Sudan's troubled region of Darfur and handle the issue of displaced people.

Blazy said he will pay a visit to Niyala state in southern Darfur to see the situation, in addition to a visit to the refugee camp of Kalma to follow up humanitarian relief operations there.

The Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) reached a comprehensive peace deal in January, ending a 21-year-long civil war.

Sudan's arid and impoverished western region of Darfur has been in the grip of civil war for more than two years. Many people have since been killed and more others driven from their homes.

On July 5, the Sudanese government and two Darfur rebel groups signed a peace deal, the Declaration of Principles, as a basis for seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict.

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