Sudan Rejects US Plans for Reconciliation Conference
Sudan is resisting US plans for a reconciliation conference in an effort to end the nation's 17-year civil war, reported Middle East New Line (MENL) agency.
Arab diplomatic sources were quoted as saying that the Clinton administration has invited a range of opposition parties and government officials to attend a conference in Washington, scheduled for the end of the month, added MENL.
The agency quoted the Khartoum-based Al Anba daily as saying that the conference would also include representatives from Egypt, the European Union and the east African Intergovernmental Authority on Development.
"Washington's hostile acts against Sudan do not qualify it for playing good offices for reconciliation between the government and the opposition political groups," Sudanese Information Minister Ghazi Atabani said.
President Omar Bashir went further, said the agency.
In an interview in the London-based Al Hayat daily on Tuesday, Bashir said Khartoum's relations with Sudan could not be worse. "There is nothing going on in American-Sudanese relations," he said.
Bashir said he shook the hand of President Bill Clinton during a brief encounter at the United Nations millennium celebrations last week in New York. "That's all that happened," Bashir said.
Sudanese officials point to the 1998 US attack on the Shifa pharmaceutical plant near Khartoum. At the time, US officials said the plant produces chemical weapons, MENL said.
Diplomatic sources said one of Khartoum's objections to the US effort is that it does not include Libya.
Libya and Egypt have joined to help end the civil war in an effort that has dismayed Washington, said the agency – Albawaba.com
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