G8 to call on China to take action over Darfur: Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she would ask China to use its clout over the Darfur conflict, when G8 members hold talks with Beijing later this week.world Updated: Jun 11, 2007 15:08 IST
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she would ask China to use its clout over the Darfur conflict, when G8 members hold talks with Beijing later this week.
"It is an urgent issue. People are dying or fleeing everyday," Merkel, who hosts this year's Group of Eight summit, told a news conference. "Considering the situation, we would like to hold discussions with China."
Chinese President Hu Jintao is among the leaders of guest countries invited to the three-day summit in the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm, which starts on Wednesday.
China has moved into the spotlight over the Darfur conflict due to its close ties with Sudan, as it sells arms to the African state and buys more than half its oil output.
Beijing has been blocking US-led attempts at the UN Security Council to use sanctions to force Sudan to allow UN troops into the region to stem the bloodshed.
On Friday, the council endorsed plans for a hybrid UN-African Union force but its deployment remains subject to the approval of Khartoum.
According to UN figures, fighting in the western Sudanese region has claimed at least 200,000 lives since 2003 when an ethnic minority rebellion met with a scorched earth response from the government and allied Arab militias.