(No. 6 - January 5, 2011 - 9:45 a.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement expressing Canada's regret at the decision of the Government of Sudan to suspend its participation in the Darfur peace process in Doha:
"Canada is disappointed by the Government of Sudan's decision to suspend its participation in the Darfur peace process. Sudan took this decision only days after a leading rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, re-engaged in ceasefire negotiations. Leaving the Doha talks now shows a lack of commitment to negotiations.
"We encourage the Government of Sudan to resume negotiations in Doha toward both a ceasefire and a full peace agreement that includes all armed parties. We urge all parties to make the difficult concessions necessary to achieve a genuine and lasting peace.
"Canada is also deeply concerned by the recent escalation in violence in Darfur, by both the Sudanese Armed Forces and the rebel movements, which has left so many people dead and resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands more. These actions undermine prospects for reconciliation among communities and confidence-building among belligerents. Canada urges all parties to exercise restraint. Canada believes that a negotiated agreement offers the only chance to attain long-term peace and stability in Darfur."
Sudan is one of Canada's foreign-policy priorities. Canada has contributed over $800 million for peace, humanitarian assistance, development aid, security and peacebuilding in Sudan since 2006. For more information on Canada's engagement in Sudan, please consult Canada: Active in Sudan.
- 30 -
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter.