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Reform Jewish Leader Welcomes President’s Appointment of Special Envoy to Khartoum

Saperstein: As we prepare to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, we are hopeful that the new year is one of peace and that Mr. Natsios’ s efforts as Special Envoy will bring an end to the bloodshed and allow the displaced people of Darfur to return to their homes.  

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WASHINGTON, DC |September 19, 2006 – In response to today’s appointment of Andrew Natsios as a Presidential Special Envoy to Khartoum, Sudan, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We applaud today’s appointment by President Bush of Andrew Natsios as a Special Envoy to Darfur.   As the atrocities in Darfur reach a crisis point with the imminent withdrawal of African Union forces, we praise the President’s inclusion of Darfur issues in his speech today before the UN General Assembly, as well as his continued leadership in trying to bring an end to the killings, rape, and displacement in Sudan. 

We welcome his appointment of a Special Envoy to the region as a much needed step toward peace that the civilians and humanitarian aid workers in the region so desperately need.  The people in Darfur continue to suffer, the situation continues to worsen, and blood continues to be shed on Sudanese soil. We hope and pray that the skills Andrew Natsios exhibited during his impressive tenure as USAID Administrator will allow him to successfully urge the government in Khartoum to welcome a speedy deployment of a robust and effective peacekeeping mission to Darfur.


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.

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