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Sudan Rejects US Condition for Improving Relations
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Sudan rejected Washington's condition for improving bilateral relations that Khartoum accepts the international forces to be deployed in the western region of Darfur, the Sudanese Akhbaralyoum daily reported on Wednesday.

The Sudanese government insists that the improvement and normalization of ties between any two countries should be, at the first place, based on the desire of both without imposing any precondition, according to the report.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday that there was no chance of improved relations between her country and Sudan if the latter rejected UN peacekeepers in Darfur.

Rice made the remarks to reporters following a meeting in Washington with Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol, who is currently visiting the United States for clarifying his government's position on the issue.

Commenting on Rice's statement, Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Fadlallah al-Hadi reiterated Sudan's keenness on normalizing relations with Washington and any other country without harming Sudan's dignity and sovereignty.

"If both Sudan and the United States have the desire to normalize their relations without any precondition, there is nothing preventing them from doing that," the spokesman said.

In late August, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1706calling for the deployment of up to 20,000 troops and police to replace the ill-equipped African troops monitoring a fragile ceasefire in the troubled region.

The Sudanese government rejected the resolution, saying it would lead to flagrant foreign interference in its internal affairs and re-colonization of the country.

(Xinhua News Agency September 14, 2006)

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