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Summit on Guinea-Bissau coup crisis cancelled

A summit of six West African heads of state on the political crisis in Guinea-Bissau following the April 12 coup has been cancelled, according to the Guinean foreign minister. The meeting was due to take place in Conakry on Monday.

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AFP - A summit of six West African heads of state on the crisis in coup-stricken Guinea-Bissau scheduled for Monday in Conakry has been cancelled, the Guinean foreign minister said.

Edouard Nyankoi Lamah told AFP that the decision to scrap the summit was made "following the junta's grave decision to name a president, set up a transitional council and provide for a two-year transition."

He added that Guinean President Alpha Conde had decided to wait for broader consultations to be held during an emergency summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to be held in Abidjan on April 26.

On April 2 the west African bloc named Conde as mediator in a political crisis in Guinea-Bissau after a first round of voting which the opposition said was riddled with fraud.

The opposition had threatened to boycott a run-off scheduled for April 29 but a coup on April 12 aborted the electoral process.

The junta has since struck a deal with opposition parties for a two-year transition period, defying calls for a return to democracy.

Since 1998, Guinea-Bissau has been through one war, four military coups and the murder of one president and four military chiefs of staff. No president has ever completed a full term in office.

This has allowed cocaine traffickers to exploit the struggling state as a transit point for cocaine being moved from Latin American into Europe.

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