Thursday, March 30, 2006

Arab leaders fail to fix amount for Darfur aid

AFP says NATO already provides logistical support and training for the AU peacekeepers in Darfur and on Wednesday NATO said it has accepted a UN request to consider extending support for the AU mission and the possible follow-on UN mission. Excerpt:

Arab leaders meeting in Khartoum pledged to help finance an African peacekeeping force in Darfur but dropped an initial plan to provide 150 million dollars in aid.

Also on Wednesday, the Arab summit resolution had initially offered 150 million dollars to an African Union mission but the figure was removed in the final text adopted Wednesday, leaving the amount to the discretion of Arab League member states.

"This ambiguity says a lot about the Arabs' inability to contradict the Americans and about their respect to promises they make to other Arabs," a Palestinian delegate said, adding that Somalia was still waiting to receive a 26-million-dollar aid package promised in 2005.

An Arab diplomat who has attended several Arab summits in the past told AFP that "all Arab summits show political and financial support, but experience has proven that words are rarely followed by acts."

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