Sunday 17 December 2017

AFRICOM deputy chief visits Sudan for security talks

AFRICOM deputy chief visits Sudan for security talks
(Andalou Agency 08/10/17)
Alexander M. Laskaris, Deputy Commander of U.S.-African Command for Civil-Military Engagement (AFRICOM)

US to decide on October 12 whether to permanently lift two-decade sanctions on Sudan

Deputy Commander of U.S.-African Command for Civil-Military Engagement (AFRICOM), Alexander M. Laskaris, arrived in Khartoum early Wednesday for talks with Sudanese officials.

He engaged in direct talks with Sudanese Defense Minister Awad Ibn Ouf and other senior officials following his arrival, the Sudanese Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. embassy said Laskaris will discuss areas of cooperation between Washington and Khartoum as well as ways of improving security in the region.

"The visit will provide an opportunity to discuss a range of key areas of mutual interest including Sudan’s continued progress in improving humanitarian access; achieving a sustainable end to the conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states; and regional security concerns," an embassy statement said.

Washington will decide on October 12 on whether to permanently lift two-decade sanctions on Sudan.

In January, the former Obama administration announced an easing of the sanctions, but after a delay of six months, to see Khartoum’s commitment to a five-track deal.

But last month, the Trump administration delayed the decision on lifting the sanctions by three months for a further review of Sudan's commitment to U.S. conditions.

The deal includes cooperation with the U.S. on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism, cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, improving humanitarian access throughout Sudan, support for the peace process in South Sudan, and cooperation in combating Ugandan rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Sudan is on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993.

Reporting by Mohammed Amin; Writing by Mohamed Sabry Emam Muhammed

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