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AU-UN meeting on Darfur delayed by logistics: spokesman
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16:51, August 03, 2007

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The African Union-United Nations meeting on Sudan's Darfur issue due to start on Friday morning has been postponed by seven hours due to logistic problems.

African Union (AU) Special Envoy on Darfur Salim Ahmed Salim told the press that the meeting would now start at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT).

Spokesman for the AU Mission in Sudan Nourredine Mezni explained that the delay is a result of logistic problems.

Motor vehicles bearing UN plates are seen still shuttling between the meeting place and the nearby Kilimanjaro International Airport.

"Most of them will be here for the meeting," said Salim Ahmed Salim when answering questions from the press regarding who had arrived to represent the rebel movements in Darfur.

The rebel representatives are expected to reach a unified platform during the three-day delayed talks before they went to negotiate with the Sudanese government to resolve the conflict in Darfur region in the west of Sudan.

The AU Sudan Mission spokesman said that the diplomats representing the AU and the UN would be holding an internal meeting in the morning instead to take stock of what had happened since the last international meeting on Darfur was held in mid- July in Tripoli of Libya.

The AU and UN special envoys have been shuttling across the vast semi-desert region of Darfur for the past few months trying to persuade rival rebel leaders to coordinate their demands and to prepare for full-scale peace talks with the Sudanese government in September this year.

Jan Eliasson, the former Swedish foreign minister, serves as the special envoy for the United Nations on Darfur.

Source: Xinhua

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