Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today (12 February) met the Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Sudan, Deng Alor Kuol, for talks at the Federal Foreign Office.
The main focus of the talks was the humanitarian situation in Darfur, the situation of the United Nations peace missions in the Sudan and the country's cooperation with the International Criminal Court. On all three points Minister Steinmeier called on the Sudan to cooperate more closely with the international community.
Steinmeier drew attention to the alarming humanitarian situation of people in Darfur and insisted that the Government do everything possible to ensure the aid agencies have humanitarian access to the refugees. It was also imperative that both the Government and the rebel factions put a stop to ongoing violence in Darfur. Steinmeier hailed the Qatar initiative as an important opportunity to agree, in a first phase, on a ceasefire and, in a second phase, on a viable peace settlement for Darfur. This would clearly require, however, a readiness to compromise and the will to make peace on the part of both the Government and the rebels.