Home | News    Monday 30 June 2008

Sudanese president and Libyan leader meet over latent tension


June 30, 2008 (CAIRO) — Sudanese and Libyan leaders met Sunday on the sideline of the African Union summit in Egypt to discuss bilateral relations for the first time since a Darfur rebel attack against the government in Khartoum last May.

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Omer al-Bashir shakes hands with Muammar Gadhafi in 2006

After an armed attack on the capital by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), pro-government press published reports about the Libyan support to the Sudanese rebels. However the government which controls the newspapers says these reports do no reflect the official position.

Omer Hassan al-Bashir held talks with Muammar Gadhafi on latest developments in Darfur and the current tension between Sudan and Chad, as well as the bilateral ties between the two countries.

Libyan Minister of African Affairs Ali Al Triki told the press that Libya as neighbour to Sudan is interested in Darfur peace and hosting the negotiations on this matter. He also underlined that the meeting between the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and ways to support and develop it.

Before the meeting the Gadhafi dispatched his special envoy Saleh Bashir to Khartoum to prepare for the meeting. Saleh told the reporters on Saturday that the meeting would discuss Darfur crisis, the rebel attack on the capital, bilateral relations between Chad and Sudan and Libyan relations with both countries.

The Libyan leader who wants to be the sage of Africa and constructor of the African unity, seems bothered by the publication of reports about his support to the JEM against Khartoum.

However, during last February rebel attack against N’djamena, Gadhafi had supported President Idris Deby by weapons and ammunitions against the Sudanese backed Chadian rebels who were at the doors of the Presidential palace.

Libya had already brokered the Tripoli Agreement between the two countries in February 2006 but the deal remained unimplemented.

The Sudanese foreign minister Deng Alor said President al-Bashir could meet President Deby on the sideline of the African summit. He also added that African efforts could succeed to put an end to the bilateral tension between the two countries.

The chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission Jean Ping last Friday has called on the Sudanese parties involved in Darfur conflict to initiate without delay a major dialogue without preconditions.

Speaking on Friday at the Opening session of the AU foreign ministers meeting in Sharm El Sheikh Ping deplored the continuing tensions, between Sudan and Chad, which led to the broke off diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"As members of the African Union, these states are obliged to respect their commitments regarding the good neighbourliness policy, peace and security in the region," said Ping.


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