Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sudan: Mbeki’s Darfur panel meet with Egyptian officials

From the website of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington DC, 28 April 2009:

Sudan: Mbeki’s Darfur panel meet with Egyptian officials

The African Union (AU) panel headed by former South African leader Thabo Mbeki met with the Egyptian president during their visit to Cairo on Sunday.

The visit is part of a regional tour that will take them to Chad, Libya, Eritrea, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as parties with interest in the Darfur conflict. Egyptian state media did not provide any details of the meeting which was attended by foreign minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit and followed by lunch banquet.

The eight member panel was established by the AU last February in response to the imminent issuance of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

The AU rallied behind Bashir and criticized the warrant saying it will severely impede peace efforts throughout Sudan. The commission has been tasked with looking into ways to balance accountability with bringing peace into Darfur and will submit a report to the summit next July. Also in Cairo, the Libyan foreign minister Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoodi met with Mubarak for talks on the Darfur crisis.

The Libyan official said his government is coordinating efforts with Egypt on the issue. He also said that any resolution should come through the Arab League or the United Nations and other countries such as Qatar.

Qatar managed to broker an accord between Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Khartoum. The goodwill agreement in the Qatari capital, pledged to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the six-year conflict in the western Sudan region of Darfur.

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