Home | News    Wednesday 7 October 2009

Sudan denies recruiting former US officials as lobbyists

October 6, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government dismissed as false a Washington Post report published last week describing efforts by Khartoum to recruit former US officials to work as lobbyists to press Washington to lift sanctions and remove Sudan from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

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Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Ismail

The efforts have so far been successful in attracting Robert McFarlane, the former National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, the newspaper reported but in a manner that that would not require disclosure on his part.

Sudan, through an intelligence officer stationed in Ethiopia, managed to secure a contract from Qatar to a firm owned by McFarlane worth $1.3 million in return for his lobbying, the newspaper reported.

However, other former US officials approached including Sudan envoys during George Bush’s administration, John Danforth and Richard Williamson have declined.

But Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Ismail denied any such endeavors by his government.

“We should not believe anything mentioned in the Washington Post or any newspaper” Ismail was quoted by Sudan official news agency (SUNA) as saying.

“The press writes so much good and bad info but we should get the correct info from its sources,” he added.

The Sudanese official said that his country’s efforts to mend fences with the US will continue but criticized the slow pace of progress in this regard.

The US has yet to come out with a new strategy in dealing with Sudan promised since Obama took office. However, the US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration has made public statements favoring soft approach to Khartoum.