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Qatar, Libya discuss efforts to achieve peace in Darfur

October 5, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — The Qatari Prime minister discussed with his Libyan counterpart in Tripoli today the ongoing efforts to hold peace talks between Sudanese government and the rebel movement in Darfur.

Qatar proposed officially since last month to host peace talks between the different parties in Darfur conflict. The Arab backed initiative was welcomed by the African Union and the United Nations which are involved in its preparations.

Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jasim today met with the Libyan Secretary of the General People’s Committee (Prime Minister) Shukri Ghanem. The meeting discussed the tasks to be undertaken by the tripartite committee to mediate Darfur peace talks. They also tackled the normalization of Sudan-Chad relations and the Libyan efforts to end the five year conflict in Darfur.

On September 9, the Arab foreign ministers council formed a ministerial body co-chaired by the Qatari Prime Minister, Hamad bin Jasim, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Jean Ping and Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa.

Paris welcomed the Qatari initiative and said it would work closely with Doha to achieve peace in Darfur. The two countries agreed to coordinate their efforts with Libya and Egypt.

The Sudanese government top negotiator for Darfur peace talks, Nafi Ali Nafi, is expected to arrive Monday in Paris for talks on the peace process in western Sudan and Khartoum efforts to suspend the ICC jurisdiction in Darfur crimes.

Last year Libya failed to deliver rebels to participate in Sirte talks at the end of October 2007. The two former mediators were blamed for much, but also the position of the host country.

The Sudanese government and rebel movements negotiated during two years a peace deal in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, but only a faction led by Minni Minawi signed in May 2006 a deal that didn’t make change on the ground.

(ST)