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Sudan’s Bashir freezes talks with US amid embargo row

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday suspended negotiations with Washington aimed at ending sanctions against Khartoum, after the United States extended its embargo for another three months, state media said.

US President Donald Trump prolonged a review period overnight to October 12 before his administration decides whether or not to permanently lift the decades-old sanctions.

His predecessor Barack Obama had eased the sanctions in January, but kept Sudan on review for six months, a period that ended on Wednesday.

Obama had made the permanent lifting of the sanctions dependent on the East African country’s progress in five areas of concern at the end of the review period.

This file photo taken on December 12, 2015 shows the former US president, Barack Obama, delivering a statement at the White House in Washington, DC. (By AFP)

In his executive order issued on Tuesday, Trump extended the deadline, saying “more time is needed” for the review.

And on Wednesday, Bashir decided to suspend the talks between Washington and Khartoum.

Bashir “issued a presidential decree ordering the suspension of the committee that was negotiating (the lifting of the sanctions) with the United States until October 12,” the official news agency SUNA said, quoting a presidential decree.

The committee has been negotiating for more than a year with US officials on lifting the American trade embargo in force against Khartoum since 1997.

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