Sudan's Beshir to meet Chad's Deby, but not yet
KHARTOUM (AFP) — Sudan said on Wednesday that President Omar al-Beshir will not meet his Chadian counterpart Idriss Deby Itno on the margins of an imminent international conference in Qatar, as previously announced.
Presidential advisor Mustafa Osman Ismail said that the two leaders would meet at some point but that "the date and venue of the summit have not been determined yet," the official SUNA news agency reported.
The two men were due to meet for the first time after their countries re-established diplomatic relations on November 9 following a six-month hiatus when Sudan accused Ndjamena of backing a Darfur rebel assault on Khartoum.
Sudan government spokesman Imad Said Ahmed said on Sunday that Deby and Beshir would meet in Doha, but Ismail said Deby was not expected at the conference.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, with the help of Qatar, has summoned heads of state to Doha on Friday to discuss the global financial crisis ahead of a finance and development conference in the capital November 29 to December 2.
Qatar has been preparing separately for a possible peace conference between Beshir's government and Darfur rebels, who have been locked in nearly six years of fighting in western Sudan.
Relations between neighbours Chad and Sudan have long been tumultuous, and analysts and African leaders say no peace can come to Darfur, which lies on the Chadian-Sudanese border, without overcoming the huge difficulties that remain.
Sudan has been on a diplomatic push to mend relations as Beshir faces a possible International Criminal Court arrest warrant on 10 counts of alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.