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Sudanese President Visits Belarus

28 July 2004 -- Belarus's Foreign Ministry said today, as Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir began a two-day visit to Minsk, that Belarus hopes to participate in developing Sudan's oilfields.

The ministry said in a statement that Belarus hopes to increase supplies of automobiles, trucks, industrial and energy equipment, metals and fertilizers.

Sudan officially estimates its oil reserves at more than 2 billion barrels, with 700 million barrels in proven reserves.

Al-Beshir arrived in Belarus late yesterday. He is to meet with President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky, and also to visit several companies.

International attention is focused on Sudan where pro-government militias have killed some 30,000 people in Darfur region and driven more than a million from their homes. The UN is considering a U.S.-backed resolution calling for sanctions against Sudan if it does not stop the violence in Darfur.