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Egypt Warns Against UN Sanctions on Sudan


Egypt has warned the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council not to impose new sanctions on Sudan over the crisis in troubled Darfur.

The warning comes a day after President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair - speaking separately - threatened more sanctions in remarks criticizing the Sudanese government.

In a statement Thursday, Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said he had sent urgent messages to the U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia. He said the messages stressed the need for improved dialogue with Sudan instead of new sanctions.

He also said the international community should welcome Sudan's decision on Monday to accept a U.N. support package for African Union peacekeepers in Darfur. That package will send some 3,000 U.N. personnel to the war-torn region.

Russia and China voiced objections to new sanctions on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a panel of U.N. experts is expected to release a report Thursday accusing Sudan of flying weapons into Darfur. That action would violate previous U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The report - which was leaked to the New York Times on Wednesday - says Sudan is transporting the weapons in military planes painted white to look like U.N. or African Union aircraft.

The United States and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have expressed concern over the report.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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