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Sudan says willing to hold talks with Chad to restore relations

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April 16, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan is willing to hold talks with neighboring Chad to restore diplomatic relations, a leading member of the Sudanese ruling party said Saturday.

"We will not close the door on Chad if it wishes to improve ties," Nafi Ali Nafi, deputy chairman and official spokesman of the ruling National Congress Party, was quoted by the official Sudan News Agency as telling reporters on Saturday.

Chad severed relations with Sudan Friday and threatened to expel 200,000 Sudanese refugees if the international community did not do more to stop what he claimed were Sudanese-backed rebels from destabilizing his government ahead of presidential polls May 3.

Chad’s President Idriss Deby announced he was cutting of relations after rebels attacked the capital N’djamena, charging on Thursday charged from the border with Sudan’s Darfur region. Government forces rebuffed the attack.

SUNA also quoted Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir as saying in a meeting with U.N. envoys that instability in Chad was not in Sudan’s interest and that Khartoum was eager to maintain good relations with N’djamena.

(St/AP)

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