Nato considers Darfur support role

Nato allies agreed today to consider offering logistical help to the African Union’s peacekeeping force in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region.

Nato allies agreed today to consider offering logistical help to the African Union’s peacekeeping force in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region.

The agreement followed a written request from the chairman of the AU Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, said Nato spokesman James Appathurai.

Nato officials stressed that support for the AU would not entail the deployment of an alliance force in Sudan.

However, Appathurai said it “would be the most significant focus by Nato on an African security problem.”

Talks with the AU on a Nato role are expected to start “very, very quickly” Appathurai said, ahead of an expected visit by Konare to Nato headquarters on May 17.

The AU’s request for talks with Nato follows last week’s meeting of Nato foreign ministers at which US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raised the issue.

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