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DATE=7/11/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251640 TITLE=EGYPT-SUDAN OPPOSITION (L-ONLY) BYLINE=RICHARD ENGEL DATELINE=CAIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: SUDANESE OPPOSITION LEADERS ARE GATHERED IN CAIRO FOR TWO-DAYS OF MEETINGS WITH EGYPTIAN OFFICIALS WHO ARE TRYING TO MEDIATE AN END TO ONE OF AFRICA'S LONGEST CONFLICTS. RICHARD ENGEL REPORTS FROM CAIRO THAT EGYPT IS WORKING TO UNITE THE SUDANESE PEACE PROCESS, WHICH HAS BEEN FRACTURED IN RECENT MONTHS. TEXT: IN A STATEMENT READ IN THE EGYPTIAN CAPITAL, THE LEADER OF THE "SUDAN PEOPLE'S LIBERATION MOVEMENT", JOHN GARANG, SAID THE SUDANESE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO DIVIDE AN ALLIANCE OF SUDANESE OPPOSITION GROUPS. /// ACT IN ARABIC - FADE /// MR. GARANG SAID THE GOVERNMENT IN SUDAN HOPES TO BREAK THE RANKS OF THE SUDANESE OPPOSITION BY SEEKING OUT NEW MEDIATORS TO THE 16-YEAR CONFLICT. HE WAS APPARENTLY REFERRING TO A MEETING IN GENEVA LAST MONTH BETWEEN SUDAN'S POLITICALLY POWERFUL SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, HASSAN AL TURABI, AND A SUDANESE OPPOSITION LEADER, SADEK AL MAHDI. AFTER THE MEETING IN GENEVA, MR. TURABI SAID THAT MR. MAHDI --WHO ONCE SERVED AS SUDAN'S PRIME MINISTER -- WOULD BE WELCOME IF HE RETURNED TO KHARTOUM. THESE COMMENTS, AND THE FAILURE OF THE OPPOSITION TO TOPPLE THE GOVERNMENT IN KHARTOUM, LEAD SOME ANALYSTS TO SUSPECT THAT MR. MAHDI COULD BE WORKING OUT A DEAL TO RETURN TO SUDAN. THAT WOULD MEAN AN END THE UNIFIED SUDANESE OPPOSITION. BUT IN CAIRO, MR. MAHDI DEFENDED HIS MEETINGS IN GENEVA. THE FORMER PRIME MINISTER SAID HE MET MR. TURABI FOR WHAT HE CALLED PERSONAL REASONS, AND NOT ON BEHALF OF THE ALLIED SUDANESE OPPOSITION. /// MAHDI ACT IN ARABIC -- FADE /// MR. MAHDI ALSO SAID THAT EGYPT SHOULD REALIZE THAT IT IS NOT THE ONLY PARTY HOPING TO NEGOTIATE AN END TO THE SUDANESE CIVIL WAR. THE MEETINGS IN CAIRO ARE HEADED BY EGYPT'S DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, YOUSSIF WALI, WHO STRESSED EGYPT WOULD LIKE TO SEE SUDAN REMAIN A UNIFIED COUNTRY. THE TALKS WITH THE SUDANESE OPPOSITION COME AS RELATIONS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS IN CAIRO AND KHARTOUM ARE IMPROVING. RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS HIT AN ALL-TIME LOW IN 1995 WHEN EGYPT ACCUSED SUDAN OF INVOLVEMENT IN AN ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT HOSNI MUBARAK. BUT DIPLOMATS SAY PRESIDENT MUBARAK COULD MEET WITH SUDAN'S PRESIDENT, OMAR AL BASHIR, ON THE SIDELINES OF AN ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY SUMMIT, SCHEDULED TO END WEDNESDAY. A SUDANESE OPPOSITION LEADER, MOHAMMED MIGHRANI (MI-GRA-NI), SAID HE HOPES THE IMPROVING RELATIONS BETWEEN CAIRO AND KHARTOUM MEAN THAT EGYPT WILL BE IN A BETTER POSITION TO MEDIATE THE CONFLICT. (SIGNED) NEB/RE/ALW/RAE 11-Jul-99 12:01 PM EDT (1601 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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