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Sudan’s President regrets non attendance of upcoming Arab summit

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‏KHARTOUM, May 19, 2004 (KUNA) — The Sudanese government on Thursday officially ‏‏announced that President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir would not attend the Arab ‏‏summit slated in Tunis on 22-23 this month.‏

‏Sudanese FM Mustafa Othman Ismail said, the Sudanese President had sent a ‏‏message to his Tunisian counterpart Zein El-Abidine Ben Ali in which he ‏‏apologized for not participating in the summit, stressing that this would not ‏‏debase the importance of the summit.

Ismail justified the absence of the Sudanese President by the absence of ‏‏the two vice presidents; Ali Othman Taha and Moses Kacoul Machar, as one of ‏‏them, Taha, is attending peace talks with Sudan People’s Liberation Army ‏ ‏(SPLA) leader John Garang in the Kenyan city of Naivasha, while the other is ‏‏abroad for medical treatment.‏

Ismail added that Bashir is also following up the peace process, that ‏‏reached its final stages, and the situation in Darfur.

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