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Angolan officials have promised to withdraw their troops from the Republic of Congo "as soon as possible," America's U.N. envoy said Sunday.

Bill Richardson, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said he told Foreign Minister Venancio de Moura of Washington's concern about the presence of Angolan forces in the Central African nation wracked by five months of civil war.

Angolan troops intervened on the side of former military ruler Denis Sassou-Nguesso this month to help defeat the forces of the elected president, Pascal Lissouba.

Angola initially insisted its troops entered the country from the Angolan enclave of Cabinda in pursuit of rebels who were destabilizing Angola.

Richardson said Sassou-Nguesso was to travel to Luanda today for a Central African summit.

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