CAIRO: Egypt on Thursday blamed the Darfur rebels for insecurity in the vast region of western Sudan and said any agreement on implementing a UN Security Council resolution should take into account Khartoum s reservations. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit said in a statement that the principal culprits were the rebel groups which refused to sign a peace agreement for Darfur in May. The parties which did not sign the agreement are those primarily responsible for the current deterioration of the security situation, the Foreign Ministry statement said. The only signatories were the Sudanese government and one faction of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement, which took up arms in 2003 to demand a greater share of power for Darfur. Other rebel groups said the deal was inadequate. Egypt has been acting as an informal intermediary between the Sudanese government and the United Nations over a UN Security Council resolution which proposes sending 20,000 UN peacekeepers to restore law and order in the troubled region. Khartoum has rejected the resolution as a violation of Sudanese sovereignty and an attempt to restore colonial rule. Analysts say the Sudanese government is also worried that some officials could be arrested on war crimes charges. The African Union, which already has a peace force in Darfur, agreed last week to extend the mandate of its force until the end of the year, averting a possible security vacuum. Abul-Gheit said: The extension … could help reach an understanding on the best way to implement the UN resolution with full respect for Sudanese sovereignty and taking into consideration the worries on the basis of which the government of Sudan rejected the resolution. The statement indicated some Egyptian sympathy for the position of the Sudanese government. Khartoum says that UN and U.S. demands on Darfur are a cover for imposing U.S. plans on the Middle East and possibly overthrowing the government. Arab diplomats said on Thursday that Egypt and the Cairo-based Arab League were trying to persuade Sudan to accept the UN resolution and let in UN forces, avoiding the kind of confrontation which led to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the same, they want the United Nations to help the Sudanese government find a way to accept, they added. Egypt thinks the Sudanese government has a share of responsibility and they are advising them not to get into a confrontation of the kind with Saddam Hussein, said one diplomat, who asked not to be named. They are encouraging the two sides to reach a settlement, through the United Nations finding a way for Sudan to accept the UN resolution, he added. [Egypt and the Arab League] are trying to work within the resolution, rather than around it, said another diplomat. One promising sign would be a Sudanese agreement to let in some 105 military personnel which the United Nations plans to send to Sudan to help the African Union force, he added. That is an opening that could be expanded, he said.