Sudan foreign minister criticizes US sanctions extension
Sudan regards the US decision to extend economic sanctions on Sudan for another year as unfortunate but will not sever its dialogue with Washington, Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail said Saturday, November 3. Ismail, cited by the official SUNA news agency, made clear his displeasure with US President George W. Bush's decision, announced on Thursday.
"The decision was unfortunate, though the dialogue will continue," Ismail said. Khartoum has set the lifting of sanctions part of the price "for normalizing relations" between the two countries, Ismail said.
"Dialogue must continue to convince the US that extending the sanctions and keeping the Sudan on the list of states sponsoring terrorism does not help in improving the ties between the two countries and should therefore be reconsidered," Ismail said.
Bush enumerated the reasons for the sanctions in a statement released by the White House, cited "continuing concern about (Sudan's) record on terrorism and the prevalence of human rights violations," including slavery and restrictions on religious freedom.
However, Ismail said the sanctions decision would not affect the mission of US peace envoy John Danforth who is expected here on November 10 in a bid to broker an end to the civil war in Sudan, between the largely Muslim Arab north and mainly Christian and animist south.
The United States slapped Sudan with sanctions, following an attempt by armed gunmen to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 1995. Sudan was linked to the failed hit. — (AFP, Khartoum)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)