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Sudan denies intelligence cooperation with US

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July 1, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has denied reports about close cooperation between the Sudanese intelligence service and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Iraq and Somalia.

He said the cooperation between the Sudanese intelligence Services with the CIA did not exceed Sudan’s commitment not to support terrorist groups and to control the movement in Sudan, saying the government had foiled many attempts to establish training camps for such organizations in Sudan.

Sudan has secretly worked with the CIA to spy on the insurgency in Iraq, an example of how the U.S. has continued to cooperate with the Sudanese regime even while condemning its suspected role in the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Darfur.

Sudan had assembled a network of informants in Iraq providing intelligence on the insurgency. Some may have been recruited as they traveled through Khartoum.

The U.S.-Sudan relationship goes beyond Iraq. Sudan has helped the United States track the turmoil in Somalia. Sudanese intelligence service has helped the US to attack the Islamic Courts positions in Somalia and to locate Al Qaeda suspects hiding there.

In 2005, the CIA sent an executive jet to Sudan to fly the country’s intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, to Washington for meetings with officials at agency headquarters. Gosh has not returned to Washington since, but "there are liaison visits every day" between the CIA and the Sudanese intelligence service, the Los Angeles Times said last month.

The relationship underscores the complex realities of the post-Sept. 11 world, in which the United States has relied heavily on intelligence and military cooperation from countries, including Sudan and Uzbekistan, that are considered pariah states for their records on human rights.

(ST)

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