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Lords Committee Call For Urgent EU Action On Sudan

29 July 2010

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The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development has expressed grave concern about the increased risk of civil war in Sudan and called for the appointment of a dedicated Foreign Minister at EU level to focus efforts on the country.

The Chairman of the Sub-Committee, Lord Teverson, commented that urgent EU action was required, specifically that “an investment now will save lives and avoid a costly response in future”. He said that previous crises had shown the need for timely international intervention to prevent conflicts getting out of control and that the EU should ensure it remained focussed on the situation and provide crucial and sustained EU support for peace initiatives in Sudan ahead of the referendum on independence for south Sudan. 

Lord Jay of Ewelme, former Head of the UK Diplomatic Service and a Member of the Sub-Committee said: “It is vital for the Government to press the EU to designate a respected senior Foreign Minister tasked with ensuring that Sudan does not slip off its radar screen.  Such appointments should be made in the case of other fragile states in danger of being overlooked while the world’s attention is elsewhere”.