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Friday, January 05, 2007
Richardson heads to Sudan
WASHINGTON -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Thursday he is heading to Sudan on a diplomatic trip that would add to his extensive international experience as he prepares to announce whether he will run for president.

Richardson will try to meet with Sudanese officials and persuade them to accept a peacekeeping force in the war-torn Darfur region, according to a statement from his office. He is to arrive Sunday after traveling overnight and plans to travel to Darfur.

Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, has rejected a U.N. Security Council resolution that provides for bolstering the poorly funded and equipped 7,000-troop African Union force to about 22,000 peacekeepers under U.N. leadership. The nonprofit Save Darfur Coalition requested Richardson's help because of his long relationship with Bashir and is paying for the trip.

Richardson, a Democrat who was U.N. ambassador and energy secretary in the Clinton administration, would have one of the most impressive foreign policy resumes if he decides to run for president.
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