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Arab League renews calls for lift of sanctions on Sudan

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March 11, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The Arab League called for the removal of American economic sanctions on Sudan, and vowed to exert more efforts with the international funds and organizations to support the Sudanese economy and cancel its foreign debit.

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A general view of the Arab League foreign ministers meeting on Syria at the league’s headquarters in Cairo March 10, 2012 (Reuters)

The Council of the Arab League Thursday kicked off an ordinary session chaired by Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa to discuss a number of Arab issues including the economic sanctions on Sudan.

The agenda of the ministerial meeting included the “unjust” U.S. embargo on Sudan particularly on the purchase of airplanes and spare parts which threatens the safety of civilian and commercial aviation in the east African country.

In a decision adopted on Friday the meeting urged the newly elected AL Secretary General and Egypt’s former Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit to continue the coordination of positions between the African Union and Arab League to suspend an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant against the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir.

The Council called on the state-members and Arab funds to engage contacts with international funds and financial organizations to support the Sudanese economy, and to relief its foreign debts.

Regarding the U.S. economic sanctions on Sudan, the Arab League meeting rejected a ban on the purchase or lease of aircrafts and spare parts to Sudan, saying it threatens the safety and security of civil aviation.

“The Arab Foreign Ministers Council reaffirms the right of all Arab countries in the development of its fleet within a free competitive atmosphere far from any requirements and political prohibition,” said the decision.

The Council called on the Arab countries to approach the "concerned countries" and all international and regional civil aviation organizations to redress the situation and remove the embargo imposed against the Sudanese civil aviation and airline companies.

In June 2014, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed a $21 million fine on the Dutch aviation services firm Fokker Services for selling aircraft parts to Iran and Sudan in violation of U.S. sanctions on the two countries.

The Arab states also pledged to exert the necessary efforts within the framework of the United Nations and the international organizations to prevent the harbouring or support to rebel groups and ensure their commitment to negotiate a peaceful agreement.

The meeting further called on the holdout political and armed opposition groups to join the national dialogue to reach a comprehensive political settlement in Sudan.

(ST)

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