(No. 77 – February 23, 2010 – 6:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement after the signing of a framework agreement, in Doha on February 23, between the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement, one of the main Darfur armed movements:
"Canada welcomes the signing of the framework agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement. This agreement, with its ceasefire, is another step toward a general political settlement for Darfur.
"The signatories must respect the ceasefire for it to diminish the hardships suffered by the people of Darfur and contribute to a general peace settlement. Canada calls on the signatories to honour their commitments under this and other agreements.
"Canada was present for the signing of the framework agreement. Canadian representatives will remain in Doha for the launch of general negotiations, involving all parties, under the auspices of the United Nations-African Union Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Djibrill Ypènè Bassolé.
"Canada calls on all parties to the conflict to continue working toward a sustainable, inclusive peace agreement."
Canada strongly supports the peacekeeping efforts in Sudan, and the Darfur peace process, investing $687 million in Sudan since 2006. Canada is the second-largest voluntary financial contributor to the hybrid African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur, and has contributed approximately $40 million to support the Mission's African police officers.
For more information, please visit Canada: Active in Sudan.
- 30 -
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada