- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sudan sanctions

The head of the Sudanese Embassy yesterday appealed to U.S. religious and civil rights activists to persuade the United States to remove the economic sanctions on his country.

“Sudan is still under a number of sanction regimes, which impact negatively. We believe they should be removed today, rather than tomorrow,” Khidir Haroun Ahmed, the charge d’affaires, told a luncheon forum hosted by the World Media Association at The Washington Times yesterday.

“Our railroads are crippled. Our trains are made by General Electric and General Motors. Our air fleet is made by Boeing, and they are under severe U.S. sanctions.”

He said the new peace agreement is working and his country, five times the size of Texas, is struggling to better the lives of the Sudanese people, our correspondent Tom Carter reports.

William Reed, of the Give Peace A Chance coalition, agreed. He said the U.S. government view that genocide is being committed by Sudanese troops, especially in the Darfur region, is mistaken.

“You have never heard an African leader say it was genocide,” he said, calling that description a concession to religious conservatives in America. “The United States should be involved in conflict resolution and creating stability.”

The Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, a former D.C. congressional delegate, said the time had come for selected sanctions to be removed. He said the key to Sudan is that religious leaders of all faiths and political leaders must work together to craft equitable solutions to political conflicts.

Not anti-American

South Koreans hold a more complex view of the United States than those expressed in some public opinion polls or in anti-American street protests by left-wing radicals, said a top adviser to President Roh Moo-hyun.

Kisuk Cho said South Koreans’ attitudes are shaped by individual events, not by any deep resentment toward the U.S. presence in their country.

“Academic circles in the United States have turned out a plethora of studies on the origins and causes of anti-American sentiment among Koreans,” she told an audience last week at Georgetown University.

“Americans have been considerably confused, however, that many … opinion polls show consistent support among Koreans for the presence of U.S. forces in Korea.”

The former political science professor said she has studied South Korean public opinion for 20 years and found that most South Koreans support the United States, while also expressing hopes for reunification or peaceful relations with communist North Korea.

South Korean attitudes toward the United States and North Korea are “fairly stable,” Mrs. Cho said, although different generations hold different views of the complex relationship.

“The older generation sees North Korea through a Cold War mentality,” she said. “North Korea is a presence threatening our system and is an enemy, while the United States is a presence to safeguard us and is a benefactor.”

The younger generation thinks “favorably both of North Korea and the United States,” she said, adding that it sees “North Korea as a kin deserving assistance and the United States as an ally deserving a respectable relationship.”

Mrs. Cho said many protests reflected anger over individual incidents such as an accident in which two schoolgirls were killed when they were hit by a U.S. Army vehicle in 2002.

Boucher tapped?

South Asian diplomats in Washington are eagerly awaiting the announcement that veteran State Department official Richard A. Boucher will be appointed assistant secretary of state for their region.

“He knows everybody in Pakistan. He will be a good addition to the team,” said a Pakistani diplomat.

Mr. Boucher is expected to replace Christina Rocca.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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