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Sudan welcomes Obama envoy call for sanctions end

world Updated: Jul 31, 2009 07:31 IST
Sudan welcomes Obama envoy call for sanctions end

Sudan on Friday welcomed a statement by the US Special Envoy that there was "no evidence" to support keeping it on a US terrorism blacklist that triggers punishing economic sanctions.

Retired general Scott Gration said such measures, aimed at punishing the Khartoum government, were "actually hurting the very development" needed to keep a fragile peace in Sudan and give hope to people driven from their homes.

Khartoum responded swiftly to the statement by Gration, President Barack Obama's handpicked Sudan troubleshooter.

"Sudan has appreciated the positive signals," Sudan's ambassador to the UN Abdul-Mahmoud Abdul-Halim was quoted as saying by the state SUNA news agency.

He condemned the "unjustifiable American sanctions", but called for a new relationship between Khartoum and Washington "based on respect of Sudan's choices" and in "the interest of the two nations".

Abdul-Halim said Sudan hoped Gration would "convince the US administration to adopt clear and decisive steps to lift Sudan out of its list of countries allegedly sponsoring terrorism."

Gration's comments came as he defended the Obama administration's approach to bolstering a fragile 2005 peace deal that ended the two-decade civil war between Sudan's north and south -- Africa's longest.

Washington has also been grappling with how to deal with Khartoum over violence in Darfur, where UN estimates say up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have fled their homes amid violence the United States has labeled genocide.