Egyptian FM Reaches out to Neighbors for Peace in Sudan
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher said on Tuesday that he had discussed Sudanese peace efforts in separate telephone calls with his Sudanese and Libyan counterparts, Mustafa Ismail and Ali Al Turaiki, reported the Kuwaiti official news agency, KUNA.
Maher was quoted as telling reporters in Cairo that the discussions dealt with the Egyptian-Libyan initiative and prospective steps to be taken for holding a reconciliation conference to resolve the Sudanese civil war.
He indicated that a decision to hold the national reconciliation conference would be taken in light of the results of preparatory side contacts.
Maher had 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 reporters Monday in Cairo.
His Sudanese counterpart had 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.
Sudanese parties, including the ruling party, have approved the plan and called for a cessation of fighting before sitting at the negotiating table.
The peace initiative 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.
Sudanese rebels in the mainly animist and Christian south have been fighting against the government since 1983 – Albawaba.com