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Swedish foreign minister to visit Sudan

leila_frie.jpgSTOCKHOLM, Aug 27, 2004 (dpa) — Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds is to visit Sudan for talks with Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail on the peace process in the Darfur region, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The Swedish foreign minister was also slated to visit Darfur, currently the focus of talks mediated by the African Union in Nigeria.

The 18-month conflict in Darfur has claimed up to 50,000 lives due to violence, starvation and disease. At least 1.2 million people have been forced to flee from their homes, while two million are in acute need of food and medical attention.

Freivalds’ stop-over in Khartoum next week was in conjunction with an earlier announced visit to South Africa. On Friday Freivalds was to fly to South Africa where she was due to meet with South African officials including Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

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