Russian Efforts Toward CAR Crisis Settlement In Line With African Union Policy - Moscow https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/russian-efforts-toward-car-crisis-settlement-509368.html Fakhir Rizvi 4 hours ago Tue 18th December 2018 | 04:52 PM MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 18th December, 2018) Russian efforts toward resolving the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) are in line with the African Union's policies, and the West's attempts to prove otherwise are groundless, Andrei Kemarsky, the director of the RussianForeign Ministry's Department of Africa, told Sputnik. "I'd like to emphasize that Russian and Sudanese efforts that contributed to the signing of the Khartoum Declaration do not in any way contravene the African Union's steps. Moreover, the declaration stresses that the measures that it envisages are directly linked to the African peace initiative. Our Western partners' attempts to contrast Russian efforts with the African Union policy are absolutely groundless," Kemarsky said. The senior diplomat specified that Russia considered the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR, which the African Union approved in January 2017, as the basis of the peace process. He added that it was within this initiative that Russia-brokered peace talks between the major warring parties were held in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, which resulted in the signing of the Khartoum Declaration. Kemarsky also called on the country's authorities to launch a national reconciliation process that is mediated by Russia, the European Union, and regional and international organizations. On August 28, the same day when the two-day talks finished, a meeting within the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR started, during which representatives of 14 armed groups made an effort toward creating a common platform for talks with the government. Kemarsky voiced his belief that western states, including France, were jealous of Russia's increasing role in the CAR settlement process. "Although terror acts continue, as well as confrontations between armed groups and governmentforces, the process is generally becoming more and more positive. Russia's contribution is quite substantial, while western states' involvement has clearly become less efficient," the diplomat said, specifying that France failed to achieve positive changes in spite of being historically present in CARdue to its colonial past. He said that Russia's engagement in the settlement process had yielded progress, and that the country's role was becoming more dominant even though it had been present in CAR for only just a year. "This causes concern and jealousy of the countries that were traditionally influential in CAR and regarded the state as their patrimony," Kemarsky specified. The diplomat added that since the West was concerned over Russia's strengthening position, they were spreading misinformation, pursuing slanderous campaigns, introducing sanctions and also trying to hamper Russian business. CAR has been struggling to stop the conflict between the mainly Muslim armed group Seleka, Christian Anti-balaka militia and government forces since 2012.