Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Friday his government was willing to observe a ceasefire in Darfur from the start of peace talks next month.
"We have given our government's willingness for a ceasefire from the start of the peace talks," he said, speaking through a translator at a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
Peace talks are due to start on October 27 in Libya between Khartoum and rebel groups to end more than four years of violence in Darfur.
A ceasefire was agreed in April 2004 but has been violated frequently.
Prodi said Bashir's statement was strong and important.
He said he had expressed the "serious concerns" of the Italian government and European countries over the Darfur crisis to the Sudanese President, who was due to meet Pope Benedict later on Friday.
Last Mod: 14 Eylül 2007, 16:18