U.S. Official Visits
Ambassador Andrew Natsios (March 10, 2007)
Media Statement, March 10, 2007
United States Embassy
Presidential Special Envoy for Sudan
Ambassador Andrew Natsios
On March 8-10, 2007 Presidential Special Envoy for Sudan Ambassador Andrew Natsios visited Libya to meet with senior Libyan officials. Ambassador Natsios made the following statement on departure.
It is a great pleasure to travel to Libya to discuss efforts to promote African regional stability and a lasting political solution to the Darfur crisis in Sudan as well as the cross-border violence between Chad and Sudan.
We welcome Libya's constructive efforts in cooperation with the international community to address the ongoing crisis, and in particular its recent efforts to broker a lasting political settlement involving all players in the complex Darfur problem. The February 21-22 Tripoli talks, which brought Presidents Deby, Bashir, and Afewerki together with Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi, were a positive step towards regional stability. In addition, we commend Libya's attempts to urge all involved in the conflict to implement the May 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) concluded in Abuja. Libya’s efforts to encourage non-signatories to the DPA to adhere to it are likewise appreciated, and we expect these will be done in the context of the UN/AU process led by Jan Eliasson and Salim Salim. We likewise commend Libya's cooperation with the World Food Program (WFP) in order to deliver much-needed humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of displaced people in Darfur.
In my meetings with senior Libyan officials, I discussed the proposed United Nations-African Union hybrid peacekeeping forces for Darfur, the humanitarian situation in Darfur, and Darfur peace talks which are the only way the conflict can be resolved.
The United States and its international partners support the African Union attempts to promote peace and security in Darfur; but believe that a UN role is critical to provide the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) with the technical capacity and expertise AMIS needs to do its job effectively. We hope Libya will encourage Sudan to move to a hybrid UN-AU force under UN command and control.