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Egypt rejects observer status in Sudanese peace talks

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KHARTOUM, Sep 1, 2003 (dpa) — Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahamed Mahir said Monday his country would not participate as an observer in the forthcoming Sudanese peace talks scheduled for September 20.

Mahir made his announcement at the end of a one-day visit to Khartoum where he met with Sudanese President Omer Hassan El Beshir, the first vice president Ali Osman and government delegates participating in the peace talks.

Mahir however declined to comment on why Egypt rejected observer status in the peace talks.

The Sudanese government and the rebel Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army began peace talks last year in a bid to end a two-decade long civil war.

The talks are sponsored by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional east African group composed of Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, Eritrea, Tanzania and Sudan.

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