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Libya to host North African Summit
Published in Daily News Egypt on 22 - 01 - 2007

CAIRO: Libya will host a summit today comprising Egypt, Sudan, Algeria and Tunisia to discuss the situation in Sudan and the Middle East.
President Hosni Mubarak told the Mena news agency "I am going to participate in the limited summit of five heads of states. Mubarak added that the summit was a Libyan initiative by Muammar Ghaddafi to explore the issues of the surrounding region.
Egypt's Ambassador to Libya Mohammed Al Tahtawy had told Al Ahram newspaper that the summit will be held in Sitre on Tuesday.
Professor of Political Science at Cairo University Dr Ahmed Thabet told The Daily Star Egypt that because of the players involved, the meeting will be more in the way of consultation rather than proposing effective steps to solve any crisis.
"This summit will centre on consultation, because the countries involved have not contributed effectively to the handling of any of the problems, Thabet said.
"Egypt has rescinded its role in the African continent, and that is due to the current regime. It can no longer do anything more than hold talks and attempt to mediate. Especially as the United States has taken a vested interest in some parts of the continent and many African countries have now allied themselves to the US, Thabet added.
The meeting precedes by days a wider African Union summit in Addis Ababa and also precedes an Arab summit to be held in Riyadh in March.
Al Ahram quoted Al Tahtawi as saying "The leaders will focus on the Darfur problem and seek a common Arab-African position to resist pressures .
Thabet believes that the reach of these nations is not effective. "Libya's diplomatic efforts in Africa have not borne fruit, he said.
200,000 people have been killed and 2 million displaced in Sudan since the uprising in February 2003 according to the UN.


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