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Sudan and Chad agree to normalize bilateral relations

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November 11, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan and Chad agreed today on the needed steps to normalize bilateral relations, said a Sudanese presidential adviser after talks held in the Chadian capital today with the President Idriss Deby in unannounced move.

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President Idriss Deby poses with the Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Osman in front of his office after the end of the meeting on Nov 11, 2008 (photo Chadian Presidency)

Libya, after a rebel raid on the Sudanese capital last May exercised important efforts on Sudan and Chad to restore relations. Following a Libyan initiative last August the two countries agreed to exchange ambassadors who are in their stations since last Sunday.

Presidential Adviser, Mustafa Osman Ismail, met today in N’djamena with the Chadian president to speak about concrete steps for the full normalization of bilateral relations. After his return in Khartoum he said he agreed with Deby on the required steps to normalize relations between the two neighboring countries.

Ismasil, who is a close adviser to president Omer Al-Bashir in the on going power struggle within the ruling National Congress Party, said he transmitted a verbal message to Deby from the Sudanese president.

Al-Bashir expressed his sincere intention to return bilateral relations to their normal, said Ismail. He further added that Al-Bshir’s message dealt with required steps to achieve normalization.

The Chadian file was one of the prerogatives of the head of the National security and intelligence services Salah Gosh. But this later was involved in the two failed attempts to overthrow Deby.

Mustafa told the Chadian President, he is in charge of the bilateral relations and would do his utmost efforts to achieve this mission.

The Chadian president always requested Khartoum to stop its support to the Chadian opposition. In the past the mistrust between the two governments and the strong ascendancy of the Zaggawa tribal links aborted such deal.

Khartoum, in return, want Deby to distance him self from the Justice and Equality Movement and to expel it from Chad. However, analysts say it is difficult for him to resist Chadian rebels without the dissuasive presence of JEM in Chad.

In N’djamena, it seems that the Chadian authorities are pleased by the content of the message brought by the Sudanese adviser. The website of the Chadian presidency published a paper about the visit with six pictures for the President Deby and the visiting Mustafa Osman Ismail.

"The Chadian Minister of External Relations, Moussa Faki Mahamat hopes, however, that this time the Sudanese authorities are sincere," said the website.

In Khartoum Ismail said that the national airliner, Sudan Airways, will resume its flights to N’djamena in the next days and the Sudanese school there will reopen soon.

(ST)

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