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Sudan 'Committed to Fighting Terrorism'


Sudan's ambassador to the United Nations, Elfatih Erwa, says his nation is fully committed to fighting terrorism in all its forms.

Speaking on the second day of the U.N. General Assembly's week-long debate on the subject, Mr. Erwa said his government's battle against terrorism did not begin with the September 11 attacks in the United States. He said Sudan has cooperated with international organizations and other nations, including the United States.

Mr. Erwa said Sudan will never give haven to terrorist groups and will match its words with deeds.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council lifted sanctions against Sudan. The sanctions had been imposed in 1996 after that nation was accused of harboring terrorists who had organized an assassination plot against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt is now satisfied that Sudan is not providing haven to terrorists and the United States dropped its previous objection to lifting the sanctions.

The Sudanese ambassador said it is important to emphasize that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, and he thanked U.S. leaders for making that clear. "My delegation would like to express its profound appreciation for the wise statements and assurances made by President Bush and other officials of the American administration as well as the European states that the war against terrorism in no way means war against Islam," he said.

As a number of Arab speakers have said during the General Assembly debate, Mr. Erwa said Israel should not exploit the current situation to "escalate oppression of the Palestinian people." The Sudanese ambassador ended his speech by saying he is praying that the values of justice, fairness and right will reign supreme in the world.

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