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Egypt’s Maher in Sudan to help restart peace talks


CAIRO, Sept 1 (AFP) — Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher left Monday for Khartoum and a series of meetings with Sudanese officials to help revive the troubled peace talks between the government and rebels, an official said.

Maher will carry a message from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Beshir, an Egyptian foreign ministry source said without disclosing the content of the message.

He will also meet with First Vice President Ali Osman Taha, Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail and the government delegation that led peace talks with the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA), said the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram.

Khartoum and the SPLA are scheduled to meet on September 10 after failing to reach a final agreement in the seventh round of talks in Kenya on August 23.

The round focused on how power and resources should be shared during a promised six-year period of self-rule for the predominantly Christian and animist south in the runup to a referendum on independence.

The war in Sudan is Africa’s oldest armed conflict. It has claimed at least 1.5 million lives, with at least another four million people displaced.

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