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US Offers Sudan Deal On Terrorism Designation
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Nov 8, 2010 - 7:59:20 AM

US Offers Sudan Deal On Terrorism Designation

Sudan could come off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism as early as next July, if the government in Khartoum allows a referendum to go forward and recognizes the results, The New York Times reported.

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Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) meets with Sudanese presidential advisor Ghazi Salaheddine in Khartoum on Nov. 6.

Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, delivered the message to Sudanese officials over the weekend, the paper reported. Sudan is one of four countries on the terrorism list, which also includes Cuba, Iran, and Syria.

The referendum is part of the peace agreement that ended years of civil war in Sudan. In a vote scheduled for Jan. 9, the people of southern Sudan will decide whether to secede from the north. They are expected to vote to do so, but carving out the south is complicated because most of the country’s oil fields are located there.

Although Sudan has cooperated in counter-terrorism efforts, the designation is also linked to violence in the Darfur region. But administration officials have made the removal contingent only on the referendum.

President Obama can remove Sudan from the terrorism list after notifying Congress. The administration recently renewed economic sanctions against Sudan; they can not be lifted without congressional approval.

The sanctions block any Sudanese property or interests in U.S. possession from being returned to Sudan, prohibit the import or export of goods, technology or services to or from Sudan, prohibit the granting of credit or a loan to anyone in Sudan, and ban the transportation of cargo by or through Sudan.

The U.S. will not relax “our commitment to solving the problems that have dogged Darfur,” the Times quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying.

President Clinton originally designated Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism on the grounds that it harbored terrorists, including Osama bin Laden.

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