Bashir in Libya to meet Gaddafi

Tripoli - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is under an international arrest warrant for the bloodshed in Darfur, flew to Tripoli on Wednesday for talks with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on the conflict.

Bashir's plane touched down at a military airport on the outskirts of the capital, where he was greeted by Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi and Foreign Minister Mussa Kussa.

He headed straight to Gaddafi's residence and held talks focused on "the means to restore peace and security in Darfur," according to Libya's official news agency Jana.

In the absence of details from the Libyan side, Sudan's state news agency Suna reported on Tuesday that Bashir's visit would last two days and that he would be accompanied by intelligence chief Mohammed Atta.

Sudan closed its border with Libya on July 1, saying the main route to the frontier was threatened by bandits and rebels. Tripoli said it understood the move.

Khartoum denied it was in response to Libya's sheltering of rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim, whose Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) agreed a truce with Bashir's government before it unravelled amid renewed clashes in Darfur.

JEM in May suspended its participation in Qatar-hosted peace talks aimed at ending the conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan that the UN says has killed 300 000 people since 2003.

Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged genocide and war crimes in Darfur, was also in Libya last March to attend an Arab summit.

The African Union, of which Libya is a prominent member, said last month that the ICC's arrest warrant would not solve the problems of Darfur, after having repeatedly voiced opposition to the arrest warrant against Bashir.

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