The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General welcomes the signing -- by the Government of Sudan, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement -- in Abuja on 5 July, of a Declaration of Principles for the Resolution of the Conflict in Darfur. The Declaration signals the parties' intention to bring to an end the conflict in Darfur. The Secretary-General congratulates African Union mediator Salim Ahmed Salim and the United Nations team which participated in the negotiations on the successful conclusion of this stage. He encourages the parties to move forward decisively and promptly when they restart talks on 24 August and to conclude a lasting political settlement to bring an end to the enormous suffering of the people of Darfur.