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Khartoum calls on U.S. administration to reconsider travel ban on Sudanese

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U.S. President Donald Trump looks on following a swearing-in ceremony for Defence Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon on January 27, 2017 (Reuters/Carlos Barria Photo)

March 9, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan Thursday has called on the American administration to review its decision to include its citizens in a ban on travellers from six Muslim-majority nations.

Last Monday President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order freezing new visas for Iranians, Libyans, Somalis, Sudanese, Syrians, and Yemenis citizens. the ban will begin on 16 March and will last for three months.

The revised ban however exempted Iraq from the list saying its removal was decided after an agreement with the Iraqi government on the screening procedures in place that would prevent suspected terrorists from leaving Iraq and coming to the United States.

The foreign ministry Thursday summoned the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Steven Koutsis to protest the new ban on the Sudanese nationals.

In a statement released after the meeting, the Undersecretary Abdel-Ghani Al-Nai’m said he informed the American diplomat that the decision is "not consistent with the great and recognised Sudan’s cooperation in the fight against terrorism."

"Sudan will be waiting to see its name removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and calls for a partnership with the United States for peace, security and development based on the potential of the two countries to serve the common interests of the two peoples," Al-Nai’m stressed.

In a paragraph dedicated to the Sudan, the Executive Order minimised Khartoum’s cooperation on the fight against terrorism with the United States, saying it provides "some cooperation" with the United States’ counterterrorism efforts.

It went further to stress that "elements of core al-Qa’ida and ISIS-linked terrorist groups remain active in the country."

Last September, U.S. State Department praised Sudanese government efforts in the fight against terrorism and its cooperation with the U.S. intelligence agencies. However, it linked the normalisation of bilateral relations and Sudan removal from the terror list to the improvement in Darfur conditions.

(ST)

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