Al-Ahram Weekly   Al-Ahram Weekly
11 - 17 May 2000
Issue No. 481
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Issues navigation Current Issue Previous Issue Back Issues

 
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Tug of war

WHILE closely monitoring the political infighting in Khartoum, Cairo is forging ahead with its efforts to reconcile the Sudanese opposition and government.

On Tuesday, Hassan Al-Turabi, the ousted secretary-general of Sudan's ruling National Congress Party, claimed that the party's leadership dismissed Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and six of his senior aides from the party. Al-Turabi himself was suspended from his party post by Al-Bashir on Saturday.

"These are internal affairs that we are not interfering in," Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said of the renewal of the power struggle in the ranks of Sudan's political elite which began in December last year.

Meanwhile, President Hosni Mubarak and Moussa met separately with Sudanese opposition figures to discuss convening an all-inclusive conference to reconcile the Sudanese government and opposition. Yesterday, Mubarak received John Garang, head of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M). Garang said after the meeting that the Sudanese problem "cannot be solved without Egyptian input and participation." He added that he wanted to "take advantage of the situation and move towards a united, democratic Sudan." On Tuesday Moussa met with Garang and Mohamed Al-Merghani, head of the umbrella opposition group the National Democratic Alliance. (see pp. 8 & 9)

Israeli nukes

EGYPT'S diplomatic efforts to draw international attention to the Israeli refusal to accept the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) seems to have succeeded. In an NPT conference, currently meeting in New York, a draft has been submitted which notes that all countries in the Middle East have signed the treaty except Israel.

AP reported that the daft, if ratified, would urge Israel to place all its nuclear facilities under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency, "without further delay."

The draft also calls for the appointment of a special representative to facilitate Israeli compliance before 2005.

The US tried and failed to head off this direct criticism of Israel.

  • See commentary by Fawzi Hamad

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