Press Statement
Gordon Duguid
Acting Deputy Department Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 17, 2009

The United States is encouraged by the consultations between Sudan’s Government of National Unity and the Justice and Equality Movement this week in Doha, which resulted in the February 17 signing of an Agreement of Goodwill and Confidence-Building for the Settlement of the Problem in Darfur. We look to this agreement as a tangible first step forward toward an inclusive framework for the resolution of the Darfur conflict.

We commend the leadership of African Union/United Nations Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassolé and Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdulla Al-Mahmoud in assisting both sides through a week of intensive and constructive talks. We look forward to their continued leadership in bringing in other parties as such talks resume. We also appreciate the Qatari facilitation and hosting of these consultations in a peaceful and constructive setting.

The United States supports these talks and encourages all parties, including armed groups, civil society and political leaders, to come together to stop the violence in Darfur and join in the search for peace.

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PRN: 2009/134