Powell to take part in Sudan talks

With plans to "encourage progress", US Secretary of State Colin Powell will be travelling to Kenya this week to meet top Sudanese officials and discuss the peace process.

    Powell is expected in Kenya on Tuesday

    Powell will arrive in Nairobi on Tuesday from Bangkok where he is now attending the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit with US President George Bush, department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

    "Secretary Powell will ... engage with the Sudanese parties to encourage progress in the peace process," he said in a statement. "The success of this process is an important (Bush) administration goal."

    Boucher added that Powell would also see senior officials in the Kenyan government to follow up on President Mwai Kibaki's state visit to Washington earlier this month during which the so-called war on terrorism was a major topic.

    Tourism dependent

    Kenya's economy is heavily dependent on the tourism sector which has been badly damaged by a series of warnings from the US and other nations alerting their citizens of terrorist threats in the country.

    Kenyan Foreign Minister Musyoka
    (C) is playing host to the talks 

    Kenyan officials, including Kibaki when he was in Washington, have repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, appealed for the US warning to be lifted.

    The Sudan peace talks – the latest round of which opened northwest of Nairobi on Friday – appear to be yielding significant progress, but it was not clear on Monday whether Powell's plan to attend signaled a breakthrough or that a final agreement was imminent.

    State Department officials told AFP on Sunday that Powell had decided to make the trip after lengthy consideration, but played down earlier suggestions that he would not go unless a deal to end Africa's longest running civil war was in the works.

    Kenyan Foreign Minister, Kalonzo Musyoka, whose country is host and mediator at the talks, said last week that he expected Powell to participate either "to encourage both parties or to witness the signing of the agreement."

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.