Arabs welcome end of US sanctions on Sudan

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Pan-Arab institutions welcomed on Saturday a US decision to end a 20-year trade embargo against Sudan.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “the decision will contribute to enhancing stability and development in Sudan after a long time suffering from the consequences of sanctions.”

“The decision comes in line with Egypt’s solidarity with Sudan and efforts it has always exerted, including its frequent calls for lifting the sanctions in addition to contacts it held with the US side in that regard,” said Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Foreign Ministry spokesman in a press statement.

The economic sanctions on Sudan have been imposed since 1997 over Khartoum’s alleged support for Islamist militant groups.

Washington announced Friday it was ending the embargo, citing improvements made by Sudan in its human rights record.

Meanwhile, the Arab League (AL) spokesman Mahmoud Afifi said the AL also welcomed the decision that lifted the long-time economic sanctions imposed on Sudan in 1997 and 2006.

The US move came in line with the positive measures taken by the Sudanese government to stop hostilities in all conflict areas, improve the delivery and access of humanitarian aid as well as to cooperate with Washington to resolve regional conflicts and counter terrorism, Afifi added.

The US decision that will be enforced as of Oct. 12 satisfies the AL’s repeated demands to lift all US sanctions against Sudan, the AL’s spokesperson added.

He pointed out that the decision would empower Sudan to continue promoting peace and development.

Arab Parliament Speaker Mishaal bin Fahm hailed the US decision that has been taken in parallel with “the positive measures taken by Sudan’s government at the human rights and the humanitarian aid levels as well as cooperation with Washington to end regional conflicts and combating extremism.”

The decision means all trade between the United States and Sudan that was previously prohibited will be authorized and all international banking transactions will be permitted with Sudan. US individuals and companies can now process transactions involving counterparts in Sudan.

However, lifting of the embargo does not mean that Sudan will be taken out of US Department of State’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Further, other sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council related to the conflict in Darfur also continues.

The Arab Parliament speaker reiterated his demand to remove Sudan’s name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Salami added “he sent a written message in May to the speaker of the US House of Representatives to demand ending the trade embargo on Sudan and to remove Sudan’s name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.”

He pointed out that “Sudan is a key country in fighting terrorism in the Arab and Islamic worlds.”