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Iran's Khatami Visits Sudan - 2004-10-05

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has expressed confidence that the Sudanese government will be able to solve the crisis in the troubled Darfur region.

Speaking before the Sudanese parliament on Tuesday, the second-day of his three-day visit, Mr. Khatami said Iran is ready to help Sudan solve the Darfur crisis.

Fighting between rebel groups and government-backed militias in the western Sudanese region has claimed more than 50,000 lives and displaced nearly 1.5 million people since early last year.

On Monday, Mr. Khatami held talks with his Sudanese host, President Omar al-Bashir. The Iranian president expressed support for what he said are Mr. al-Bashir's efforts to establish peace in southern Sudan.

Southern-based rebel groups plan to resume negotiations this week with the Sudanese government on ending more than 20 years of civil war.