April 30, 2009 / 9:48 AM / 10 years ago

Sudan to review Chad peace deals in Qatar

* Sudan reviewing agreements with Chad, official says

* Aiming for lasting deal at Qatar talks



By Dania Saadi

DUBAI, April 30 (Reuters) - Sudan plans to review its past peace agreements with Chad in an attempt to find a lasting deal in reconciliation talks that are taking place in Qatar on Thursday, a senior Sudanese official said.

Oil-producing states Chad and Sudan resumed shaky diplomatic ties last November after cutting them in May. Khartoum had accused Chadian President Idriss Deby of involvement in an attack on the Sudanese capital by Darfur rebels on May 11, 2008.

Both countries have long accused each other of supporting insurgent groups and rebel attacks inside their territories.

The talks, which started on Wednesday in Doha under Qatari and Libyan sponsorship, will review the positive and negative aspects of past agreements to arrive at a lasting solution, Sudanese Foreign Ministry undersecretary Mutrif Siddig told Qatar’s state news agency late on Wednesday.

"We will work with our brethren in Chad to find lasting peaceful solutions for Chad’s issues, so that they do not have adverse reflections on Sudan," the Qatar News Agency quoted Siddig as saying.

The porous border between Sudan and Chad has contributed to several conflicts, including the civil war in Sudan’s Darfur region, which has killed around 200,000 people and displaced 2.5 million others since it erupted in 2003, international experts say.

Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said the meeting that Doha is hosting seeks to help improve ties between the two African nations to bring stability to the region.

Qatar is ramping up its role as a peace-broker in the Middle East and North Africa by sponsoring peace talks between warring factions in Sudan, Yemen and Lebanon and hosting meetings between Palestinian and Israeli officials.

The U.S.-allied country has helped broker a peace agreement between Lebanese groups that led to the election of a new president and the formation of a national unity government.

Ahmad al-Mahmood, Qatar’s minister of state for foreign affairs, told the news agency: "Through our Qatari-Libyan mediation moves, we found a common ground for both sides and suggested a number of inquiries and we found some answers. This effort needs intensive work from both sides and frankness."

Co-sponsor Libya chairs the African Union, of which both Sudan and Chad are members. (Reporting by Dania Saadi; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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