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Bush writes response to Sudan leader

March 8, 2007 at 1:23 PM

WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush sent a letter to Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir calling for an expansion of the peacekeeping force in Darfur.

The letter was a response to a letter Bashir sent to Bush that claimed the Sudanese leader was working as quickly as possible to expand the peacekeeping force in the troubled region and told Bush that U.S. pressure on Sudan to expand the force is aimed at the wrong problem, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

"His message was that he has agreed and things are moving forward," a senior administration official said of Bashir's letter. "We don't see things that way."

Andrew Natsios, Bush's special envoy to Sudan, carried a response from Bush with him when he met Bashir in Khartoum, the Post said. The letter said Bashir's attitude toward expanding the force as expressed in his letter is useful but requires "real implementation."

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