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US navy ships stopped in Port Sudan last month: Sudan FM

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December 4, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti today defended his country’s decision to receive two Iranian warships calling it normal in the context of relations between nations.

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United States aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in the Atlantic Ocean (US Navy)

Karti who attended the national assembly’s deliberations on his report submitted last month again stressed that docking of the ships in Port Sudan in late October was pre-planned and is not linked to the suspected Israeli airstrike on a weapons factory in Khartoum days prior to that.

The top diplomat later disclosed to reporters that U.S. navy warships stopped in Port Sudan for few hours in November but offered no further details.

A U.S. pentagon official in Washington reached by Sudan Tribune said he has no knowledge of the stop and another U.S. navy official said that he will not be able to check on it until Wednesday.

The U.S. has placed Sudan on the list of states that sponsor terrorism since 1993 on allegations of harboring regional and international militants including for some time Al-Qaeda’s late leader Osama Bin Laden who was killed in Pakistan by US Navy SEALS last year.

Countries under this designation cannot receive U.S. aid or buy U.S. weapons and a raft of restrictions on financial and other dealings. The list currently also includes Cuba, Iran, and Syria.

Sudan is also subject to comprehensive economic sanctions since 1997 over terrorism charges as well as human right abuses. Further sanctions, particularly on weapons, have been imposed since the 2003 outbreak of violence in the western Darfur region.

But following September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, the two countries have reportedly forged strong counterterrorism cooperation that earned rare praise by U.S. administration in recent years.

According to the latest annual US terrorism report, the Sudanese government continued to work last year on limiting activities of Al-Qaeda inspired groups operating in Sudan, while also disrupting foreign fighters’ use of Sudan as a "logistics base and transit point for violent extremists going to Iraq and Afghanistan".

Except for Hamas, the government "does not openly support the presence of terrorist elements within its borders," the report said. It added that Sudan maintains a relationship with Iran, another terrorism sponsor.

The U.S. has voiced its concern in October over Iranian ships visit to Sudan and stressed that they are “watching that closely”.
A second visit was scheduled by Iranian navy ships for late November but was postponed for unknown reasons. The Sudanese army said the postponement was the decision of the Iranian side.

Several Sudanese lawmakers criticized their government’s ties with Iran and authorizing the visit of its warships. They questioned the benefit Sudan gets from its relationship with a country entangled in a major dispute with the international community over its nuclear program.

The Sudanese diplomat expressed similar sentiments in a TV interview last month revealing that he formally advised the government against granting permission to Iranian warships to stop in Port Sudan. He said the government took by his advice in February and denied them access but the second time he was not consulted.

Karti also suggested that it is in Sudan’s best interest to downgrade ties with Iran in favor of stronger relations with oil-rich Arab Gulf states. The latter he said are unhappy over the perceived Khartoum-Tehran close ties.

(ST)

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  • 5 December 2012 08:10, by J P Puok

    we Nilotics cattle keepers do believed that a cow beaten by an hyena is at the end will be eaten by the hyena. Sudan is at the top of pentagon countries to be destroyed list therefore the same warship you seen docking will be the same warship destroying Sudan one day via Portsudan, a good attacking site

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  • 5 December 2012 08:15, by North Face Jackets On Sale

    At the same time, Russia urged North Korea to reconsider the decision, North Face Jackets On Sale and said that if the rocket is on track to intercept.

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  • 5 December 2012 08:16, by Ruach

    The sanctions will continue generation after generation if you believe to deceive people! You will never be relieved from the sanctions as you are hosting terrorists,you hate British,Americans,Israeli,SOuth Sudanese and all Christians in the world.Deaths to Khartoums,Hamas and Iranian terrorists

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    • 5 December 2012 08:30, by Robot

      This article suits one of the commentator who told me to go back to school for telling the truth that there is nothing like Iranian warship docking and it is a propaganda. anyway we should not rely only on the website’s information and create unnecessary arguments. Sudan’s behavior is a last kick of a dying horse. we are blessed Nation by God and He is always our protector in unseen dangers.

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    • 5 December 2012 09:53, by Northern Sudanese

      Ruach
      too bad that although we are under sanctions, we live in a faaaar better condition than you insects in the south. imagine how Sudan would be if sanctions are lifted?? lol

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      • 5 December 2012 21:45, by Observer

        N Sudanese,
        You might live in better conditions but get out of your comfortable house in Khartoum and go see what it is like in the other States. See the conditions those people live in such as the eastern States, the Darfur states where conditions which are no better and in some even worse than S Sudan

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  • 5 December 2012 08:24, by wang

    North Sudan is hangout with wrong mates (Iran, Syria, Pakistan and Palestinian terrorist group so called Hamas would stay in the USA blacklists for life.

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  • 5 December 2012 13:30, by Kikiji longiro

    Americans,
    Please these people called Sudanese arabs are not the really Arabs,they are Dinka childern.don,t waste time beating them.dinkas at last will cry.Ask Francise Deng & Aldo Ajo Deng.Who are really these Arabs in Khartoum & why did Aldo Ajo ran to hold the legs of Sadiq Al Mahdi when he was re-elected Sudanese prime minister before al Bashir ran over him in 1989.
    Kikiji

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  • 5 December 2012 14:05, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    American’s are the only people still attach their relationship with Sudan while Sudan spended that alliance, their intention to build solid friendship with Arab nations like Iran, Turky Pakistan and others Arab strong countries is to defeat western nations those who have negative alliance with them.

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  • 6 December 2012 00:24, by nostalgia for 1 sudan

    Guys from south sudan
    please feel some shame,why do you want US to do evry thing for you? America will not fight your battle against poverty,ignorance and disease on behalf of you..They worked hard to gift you a country through Danforth,let them tackle other global challenges,smelly noisy insects.

    repondre message

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