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U.S. Extends Sudan Sanctions Review Period by Three Months

Wednesday July 12, 2017
By Nizar Manek

The U.S. delayed by three months a decision on whether to permanently lift some sanctions imposed on Sudan, making the revocation dependent on the North African country sustaining progress in areas such as anti-terror cooperation.

President Donald Trump’s executive order extends the six-month review period established by the Obama administration on Jan. 13, which detailed conditions Sudan must meet for certain sanctions to be revoked, the State Department said in a statement.

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While recognizing that Sudan’s government “has made significant, substantial progress in many areas, the administration has decided that some more time is needed for this review to establish” it has “sustained sufficient positive actions across all areas” listed by Obama’s order, the State Department said.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997, four years after listing the country ruled by President Umar al-Bashir as a state sponsor of terrorism. Permanently lifting the sanctions could help revive the economy of the oil-producing nation, which lost three quarters of its crude reserves with South Sudan’s secession in 2011.

The Trump administration remains “deeply committed” to working with Sudan’s government on “achieving a sustainable peace in Sudan, removing obstructions to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and bolstering cooperation to counter terrorism and promote regional stability,” the State Department said.

The U.S. also seeks to engage the government on other issues, including improving Sudan’s human rights and religious freedom practices, and ensuring the country is committed to full implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea, it said.

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