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Sudan sanctions lifted

UNITED NATIONS -- Largely symbolic United Nations sanctions against Sudan have been lifted.

The Security Council voted in unanimous agreement with only the United States abstaining from the vote.

Sanctions were imposed in 1996 to try to force Sudan to hand over suspects involved in an assassination attempt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The council had delayed a September 17 meeting to end sanctions on the movement of diplomatic personnel because of the attacks against the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

The U.N. sanctions are separate from broader ones imposed unilaterally by the United States, which are still intact.

Earlier this week, U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher praised talks with Khartoum.

"For about a year, we have had a counter-terrorism dialogue with Sudan and had been making concrete progress in that regard," Boucher said on Wednesday.

"I would characterize our discussions so far with Sudan as good," he added."

"Since the bombings, we have seen statements from Sudan that are positive and offered sympathy and support," he said, following reports Sudan was rounding up so-called extremists.

The U.N. Sanctions required states to reduce the number of Sudanese diplomatic personnel and to restrict the entry or transit of Sudanese government officials.

But the United States was one of the few countries to honor the sanctions.

Even Egypt, on whose behalf the embargoes were imposed, and Ethiopia, where the attack against Mubarak took place, supported the end of sanctions.


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