In a new escalation with the United States, Sudan's president has ordered to restrict movements of Americans in his country, the Sudan Tribune daily reported on its website on Monday.
President Omar al-Bashir also said the removal of this measure would depend on the amelioration of the bilateral ties, according to the report.
Al-Bashir announced that he had ordered the restriction of movements of all U.S. nationals in Sudan at a geographical limit of 25 kilometers as from the Presidential Palace in Khartoum.
He explained that the decision came as an act of equal treatment to that made to him and his delegation during their recent visit to New York participating meetings of the UN General Assembly.
"Any American official visiting Sudan will have his passport stamped and his movement restricted at a limit of 25 kilometers," al-Bashir said, adding that this measure would not be removed unless relations between Sudan and the United States are improved.
He also refuted the claims on continuity of fighting in Darfur. The Darfur issue would be a stumbling block for any one who wanted to utilize this issue for reaching personal goals or in his election campaign, he added.
Sudanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ali Ahmed Karti said last week that crisis in the western Sudanese region of Darfur has become a card in elections in the United States.
The steps taken by the U.S. administration on the Darfur issue were aimed at "getting satisfaction of American voters in the complementary elections for the Congress and to gratify humanitarian and Jewish organizations that are funding the American elections", Karti noted.
U.S. President George W. Bush repeated the charge of genocide in Darfur when he addressed world leaders at the UN General Assembly last week and he appointed a special envoy to bring more pressure upon Khartoum on international peacekeepers deployment in Darfur.
(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2006)