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Lifting of Sudan’s embargo includes commitment to sanctions on North Korea: Washington

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July 12, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - U.S. Department of State Tuesday has considered that Sudan’s commitment to the sanctions on North Korea is part of the five-track plan agreed by Khartoum and Washington last December for the permanent lift of economic embargo on the country.

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The US imposed comprehensive sanctions on Sudan in 1997 (US Embassy in Khartoum website)

The State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert issued a statement reiterating that his government is committed to the lift of sanctions within three months "if the Government of Sudan (GOS) sustains the positive actions that gave rise to" the initial decision taken by the former President Barak Obama.

He further enumerated the areas of the five track commitment saying it includes the cessation of hostilities in the conflict areas, the humanitarian access to civilians in the war zones, cooperation to address regional conflicts and the support of US counterterrorism efforts.

The spokesperson further announced a number of additional conditions that are not part of the initial five-track plan citing clearly human rights and religious freedom practices and sanctions on North Korea.

"Beyond these key areas connected with the potential revocation of most sanctions on Sudan and the GOS, the Administration is also committed to intensifying engagement with the GOS on a broader range of vital issues, including our ongoing dialogue on improving Sudan’s human rights and religious freedom practices, and ensuring that Sudan is committed to the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea," said Nauert.

The additional benchmarks reflect the concerns raised by human rights activists and Congressmen who pleaded for the inclusion of these matters now not in a second phase as it was suggested by the State Department.

Also, it shows the failure of Arabs’ pledge to convince Washington to take into account Sudanese participation in the anti-Iranian alliance led by Saudi Arabia and their military participation the Yemeni war.

"The United States will revoke the sanctions if the GOS (Government of Sudan) is assessed to have sustained progress in these areas at the end of the extended review period," he said.

He also reassured that the general license issued by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, remains in place and authorises U.S. persons to process transactions involving persons in Sudan; engage in imports from and exports to Sudan, and engage in transactions involving property in which the government of Sudan has an interest.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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