Sudan to Demand Lifting of Sanctions Despite US Veto Threat
The Sudanese government will urge the UN Security Council to lift four years of international sanctions, despite the threat of a US veto, Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail said Wednesday.
Ismail told a press conference here that the United States sent his government a message threatening to use its veto if Sudan next Wednesday requests a lifting of international economic and diplomatic sanctions.
The proposal is backed by non-aligned states.
"We will not change our position and will present our request on the scheduled date unless we feel that the outcome will not be to Sudan's interest, and in this case we will postpone but not abandon the request altogether," he said.
Ismail said dialogue with the United States would not stop, "particularly after the Republicans have come to power," adding that relations between Khartoum and Washington "will never be as bad as they have been before."
However, the outcome of the elections was still uncertain.
The sanctions were imposed on Sudan in 1996 in the wake of an assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia.
The sanctions restricted movement of Sudanese officials abroad, cut the numbers of diplomatic missions with Sudan and banned regional and international conferences in Sudan.
Khartoum, however, hosted a regional conference on African refugees about two years ago and is planning to host a summit conference of the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development next week.
The foreign minister meanwhile denied a press report that his government had turned down a Canadian mediation offer for resolving the outstanding problems between Sudan and Uganda.
"The fact was that I have asked Canada to act in the context of the Carter Center which is sponsoring negotiations between Sudan and Uganda so that there will not be several parties involved in this bid," Ismail said -- KHARTOUM (AFP)
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