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Obama launches new 'integrated' approach to Sudan

Sudan sees 'positive points' in new US strategy that offers 'incentives' for Omar al-Bashir's regime to cooperate fully with international peace efforts.

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After seven months of quiet shuttle diplomacy, the Obama administration announced today a significant change in the way that it deals with Sudan, shifting from hard-edged sanctions to "engagement" with the regime of President Omar al-Bashir.

Calling its new policy a "comprehensive strategy to confront the serious and urgent situation in Sudan," President Obama on Monday told reporters in Washington that he will reenact tough sanctions with the government in Khartoum – which the US in the past has accused of genocide in Darfur – but will hold out "incentives" for Khartoum if it improves its record on human rights and the advancement of peace.

"Our conscience and our interests in peace and security call upon the United States and the international community to act with a sense of urgency and purpose," Mr. Obama said, adding that it is necessary to ensure that Sudan remains stable to prevent it from becoming a safe haven for terrorists.

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