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African Leaders Gather in Sudan for 6th AU Summit
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African leaders as well as their representatives from 53 African Union (AU) members are gathering in the Sudanese capital Khartoum for the 6th AU summit that opens today.


During the two-day meeting with the theme of "Education and Culture," participants will discuss issues of education, culture and science in accordance with the cultural heritage of the diverse region. But the status of peace and security on the continent and issues concerning UN reform will also be on the top agenda.


Preparing for the summit, AU foreign ministers Friday began their executive council meeting that ended on Sunday evening.


Sudan, which is celebrating its first anniversary of the southern Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement, had been considered to take over the AU chairmanship from Nigeria after the summit, since host nations have traditionally assumed the continental body's rotating chair.


But its recent disputes with neighboring Chad, who is vehemently opposing Sudan's hosting of the summit, has added great uncertainties to its bid to take over the AU leadership.


The AU, consisting of 53 members and modeled on the EU, was launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organization of African Unity.


(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2006)


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