Sudan: U.N. troops are best force to restore peace, rebel representative says

His comments underscored marked differences that still exist between both sides, which are attempting to implement a peace plan signed May 5 in Abuja, Nigeria.

On Tuesday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir reasserted that he will never allow U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur, and said he would lead the "resistance" against any foreign force.

The U.N. wants to send a beefed-up peacekeeping force to replace 7,000 African Union troops that have largely been unable to halt fighting in Darfur, where nearly 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million displaced since rebel groups made up of ethnic Africans rose up against the Arab-led Khartoum government in early 2003, the AP reports.

The government is accused of responding by unleashing Arab militias known as the janjaweed who have been accused of some of the worst atrocities, but it denies any involvement.