Mr. Lam Akol

Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol stressed to visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte Khartoum's commitment to agreements reached among Sudan, the UN and the African Union (AU) on peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

Lam Akol told Negroponte during their meeting that "what had been agreed upon at Addis Ababa and Abuja last November is the authoritative source for implementing the Darfur Peace Agreement," Sudan's official SUNA news agency reported Friday.

The Sudanese foreign minister reiterated his government's commitment to all its promises in this regard, according to the report.

Lam Akol and Negroponte discussed the political and security situations in Darfur, the UN support package for the AU peacekeeping forces there, and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in southern Sudan in addition to bilateral relations.

Spokesman of the Sudanese Foreign Ministry Ali Al-Sadig said the talks tackled also about the issue of opening the relief corridors in Darfur, pointing out that the two sides reiterated the importance of reactivating the political process to bring the non-signatories of the Darfur Peace Agreement on board.

The Darfur Peace Agreement was signed between the Sudanese government and a main rebel faction in the Nigerian capital Abuja in May last year.

Meanwhile, Ali Al-Sadig told reporters that the Sudanese foreign minister criticized the international community for failing to fulfill commitments made in the Oslo conference of donors in April, 2004 of providing financial supports to his country.

On bilateral relations between Sudan and the U.S., the Sudanese foreign minister told Negroponte that there was no room for talks about normalization of relations when sanctions against Sudan still existed, the spokesman added.

Negroponte said in a press statement following the meeting that the principle purpose of his visit was to discuss with Sudanese authorities the situation in Darfur and to convey his country's concern on humanitarian situation in the region.

The No. 2 U.S. diplomat, accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, will visit Juba, southern Sudan and Darfur on Saturday.

Negroponte arrived in Khartoum on Thursday on a four-day official visit in Sudan, the first leg of his first African tour which will also bring him to Libya and Chad.

Source: Xinhua

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