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Sudan urged to work with Qatar on Darfur
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Nov 3, 2008 - 6:36:30 AM

Sudan urged to work with Qatar on Darfur
Sunday, November 2, 2008

DOHA, Qatar: The prime ministers of Britain and Qatar urged all factions in Sudan on Sunday to work with Qatar as it plans a reconciliation conference to end the conflict in Darfur.

Qatar, which is building off its success in mediating Lebanon's political deadlock earlier this year, said last month it would host a meeting to try to find an end to the conflict in Darfur.

Negotiations are under way to set a date for the conference. But Qatar's minister of state for foreign affairs, Ahmed bin Abdallah al-Mahmoud, has cautioned that the gathering would need good preparation to succeed.

British Prime Minister Gorder Brown and his Qatari counterpart, Sheik Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani, issued a statement Sunday calling on all parties in Sudan to engage with the tiny Persian Gulf country.

The Darfur conflict began in early 2003 when ethnic African rebels took up arms against Sudan's Arab-dominated central government, accusing it of discrimination. Up to 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million have been chased from their homes since the fighting began.

The 22-member Arab League asked Qatar in July to spearhead a joint Arab effort to end the crisis.

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