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Sudan says ready for talks with Darfur non-signatories

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Oct 17, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese president has expressed the readiness of his government to engage dialogue with the non-signatories rebel groups, saying demands can be included in peace agreement by talks not arms.

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Omar al-Bashir

President Omar al-Bashir affirmed that the door of dialogue is open for the parties that refused to sign Darfur peace agreement, adding that any items or points could be included in the Darfur Peace Agreement through negotiation and not by holding arms.

He made this statement before the member of the National Commission for the Unity of the National Rank (NCUNR), a pro ruling party panel to mobilize Sudanese political forces around the regime. He also appreciated the role played the commission.

A delegation of the NCUNR left Tuesday for Asmara, to meet the Eritrean president and the Darfur holdout groups.

The Spokesman of the NCUNR, Maj. Gen. Osman Abdallah, told the official SUNA that the delegation, which is headed by Mohamed Eissa, would meet the Eritrean President, Assias Afwerki and acquaint him on the tasks of the commission.

He said that the talks, which the delegation will hold with the non-signatories, will be under the sponsorship of the Eritrea government.

The NCUNR delegation includes Maj. Gen. Osman Abdallah, Tajal-Sir Mohamed Salih, Mohamed Saeed Al-Khalifa and Gen. Ibrahim Suleiman.

This step represents a considerable progress in the position of the Sudanese ruling party. Up to last August National Congress Party officials repeated that “the file of negotiation on Darfur was closed finally, and will never be opened again whatever the reasons are”.

International pressures led Khartoum to reconsider its stand over the rebel demands. What ever is the official discourse held by the Sudanese officials, the spectre of international sanctions over Sudan’s rejection of the UN resolution 1706 conducted al-Bashir to soften his attitude towards the non-signatories.

(ST)

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