UN envoy prepares for talks with Congolese rebel

LUANDA, Angola (AP) -- A special U.N. representative is preparing for talks with the rebel leader fighting government forces in eastern Congo.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria, told reporters during a visit to Angola on Friday that he had spoken to rebel leader Laurent Nkunda by phone Thursday.

Obasanjo says Nkunda requested a face-to-face meeting and now it was necessary to lay the groundwork for one.

Obasanjo also says Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos assured him no Angolan troops were in Congo. There are numerous reports of Angolans helping Congolese forces.

Obasanjo later left for the Congolese capital, saying he would participate in a meeting between Congolese President Laurent Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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