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Qatari official to meet Chadian President, JEM chief over Darfur


November 1, 2008 (LONDON) — The Qatari state minister for foreign affairs is expected to travel to the Chadian capital during the next week where he would hold talks with the President Idris Deby and the chairman of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud

The Qatari visit comes after criticism by the Chadian head of state of the sideling of his country in the ongoing efforts to end Darfur crisis. Also, the rebel group warned that their participation in the talks depends also of their implication in the preparations.

JEM said it will say its final word on the Qatari initiative after talks with the Qatari officials on their initiative. The rebel movement in the past blamed the former mediators for ignoring them during the preparations for the talks and accused them of considering only Khartoum point of view.

Qatari minister will discuss with JEM chief also the role of the joint mediator, and his implication in the ongoing preliminary arrangements.

Bassole, the former Burkina Faso foreign minister, has been chosen on June 30 as the new mediator to replace the dual negotiating team of AU special envoy for Darfur Salim Ahmed Salim and his counterpart at the UN, Jan Eliasson.

Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who is in charge with the preparation of an initiative to mediate between the government and rebel groups met last week with the joint Chief mediator for Darfur, Dijbril Bassolé.

The implication of Bassolé who is the representative of the international community is seen by the rebels as crucial to guarantee any eventual peace deal with Khartoum.

The IDPs also two weeks ago said the Arab initiative means to protect Sudanese president in order to avoid his indictment by the International Criminal Court.

Last October Jendayi Frazer, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs reiterated today its support for the African Union-U.N. chief mediator for peace in Darfur. she also urged Khartoum to focus efforts to settle the conflict on the process he leads.

Washington fears the multiplications of initiatives for peace in Darfur could lead to scatter it in different directions. It also suspects the credibility of the Sudanese government and its seriousness.


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