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Comprehensive Doha talks are scheduled in August - US envoy

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July 4, 2009 (PARIS) – A comprehensive peace negotiations will begin in Doha next August with participation of all the rebel groups, said today Scott Gration the US president special envoy to Sudan.

Gration made his remarks in a meeting held with a delegation from the rebel United Resistance Front (URF) of Yahya Idriss Abu Garda in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Saturday morning.

The US envoy told a URF delegation led by Hassan Khamis Jerou that nex round of Doha talks, which is restricted to the Sudanese government and the rebel Justice and Equality Movement, would include without exclusion all the parties to the conflict in Darfur as well as the civil society.

He further said the negotiations would start in August.

Last week, the joint mediator Djibril Bassolé told the rebels of Tripoli Group he would fix a date for a consultation meeting with the Sudanese government.

Gration held a meeting three days ago with the government top negotiator Ghazi Salah Eddin Attabani in Sirte where he discussed the outcome of his trip to Chad.

In Ndjamena JEM rebels refused the resumption of peace process without the release of the prisoners of war and amelioration of humanitarian situation as President Idriss Deby denied any support to Darfur rebels.

During his meeting with the URF delegation, Gration downplayed JEM request to hold exclusive talks with the Sudanese government. "JEM rebels do not represent the people of Darfur so much as the weapons they carry," Gration said, according to a statement sent to Sudan Tribune by the URF group.

Western sources disclosed that the US envoy seems irritated by JEM rejection to resume talks. However Suleiman Jamous who led JEM delegation in the meeting said they had told the eGration they would resume talks at any time if Khartoum honors even partially its commitments in Doha goodwill agreement.

The Doha peace talks initially designed for JEM and Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid Al-Nur is witnessing a radical shift as result to the complications the peace process faces since its inception.

Jerou pledged on behalf of URF to continue efforts to bring views with other rebel groups in order to reach a real unity to facilitate a comprehensive settlement and lasting solution to the Darfur conflict.

(ST)

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