Egypt Denies Agreement on Afro-Arab Summit for Sudan
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said Monday that there was no agreement to hold an Afro-Arab summit to discuss peace and reconciliation in Sudan later this month, as reported from Khartoum.
"I have no knowledge about this summit and there is no agreement on holding such a summit," Maher told reports Monday in Cairo.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told reporters on Saturday that a summit grouping the leaders of Sudan, Libya, Egypt, Kenya and possibly several other African nations would be held in Tripoli at the end of August to discuss ways of ending 18 years of civil war in Sudan.
Ismail said the summit would examine ways to implement a joint Egyptian-Libyan peace initiative, aimed at bringing the Khartoum government together with opposition factions to discuss ways of ending the war and forming a transitional government.
AFP quoted the Egyptian minister as saying Cairo and Tripoli were still committed to reactivating their initiative, which was launched two years ago.
The peace plan, which has also been accepted by the opposition, includes calls for a pluralist democracy and a national conference for revision of the Constitution of 1998.
However, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), an umbrella movement for southern and northern rebel and opposition groups, has demanded that any peace process should also focus on the principle of self-determination for the south and the separation of religion and government, according to the agency.
Sudanese rebels in the mainly animist and Christian south have been fighting against successive Arab and Muslim northern governments since 1983.
Regarding the preparatory dialogue forum for the summit, Mahdi said the government had named its delegates and was ready to negotiate. Speaking to journalists at the headquarters of the ruling National Congress, Mahdi said the government was attempting to engage all the political forces in the negotiations.
Egypt and Libya have sent official invitations to the Khartoum government, the NDA and the Ummah Party to attend the preparatory forum - Albawaba.com