US offers plan to Sudan on promoting religious freedoms

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) KHARTOUM, Nov 17 (KUNA) -- US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan on Friday revealed that he submitted a plan to Sudan to promote religious freedoms in the country as a basis for improving relations between the two countries.

In a speech before a number of clerics and academics, Sullivan presented some features of the plan to enhance religious freedoms based on a neutral treatment by the Sudanese government towards various religious communities, in addition to dropping charges against people imprisoned on a basis of religious belief.

The new plan includes some amendments to the criminal code's articles of 125, 126 and 152, as well as other changes to the personal status law regarding child care and inheritance.

Complete normalization with Khartoum requires an abidance by new policies regarding the protection of religious freedoms and human rights as a basic condition of promoting bilateral relations, Sullivan said.

He also called for reaching a comprehensive peace agreement in Darfur, the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan for the enhancement of bilateral ties.

Sullivan arrived on Thursday in Sudan for a two-day visit to push for human rights and religious freedom.

The visit comes some weeks after Washington ended sanctions against Khartoum.

The US and Sudanese relations have witnessed positive developments over the past two years, culminating last October in lifting the US economic sanctions imposed on Sudan about two decades ago. However, Washington still puts Sudan on the list of "terrorism." (end)


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