Washington, Jan 13

US President Barack Obama announced on Friday that he would lift some of the economic sanctions on Sudan, citing recent "positive actions" by the government of the African country.

In an executive order, Obama said there has been "a marked reduction in offensive military activity, culminating in a pledge to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan," Xinhua news agency reported.

He also recognised the Sudanese government's steps toward the improvement of humanitarian access throughout the country, as well as cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism.

The executive order will take effect in six months provided that the positive actions are sustained over the period of time, Obama said in a letter to Congress.

In conjunction with the move, the US Treasury Department on Friday announced an amendment to the sanctions regimes against Sudan, allowing US persons to do transactions with individuals and entities in Sudan, and unblocking the property of the government of Sudan subject to US jurisdiction.

"Treasury's sanctions are aimed at encouraging a change in behavior, and in the case of Sudan, our sanctions were intended to pressure the Government of Sudan to change the way it treats its people," said Adam Szubin, Acting Under Secretary of the Treasury.

Friday's actions "recognize the positive steps taken by the Government of Sudan over the past several months and aim to further incentivize the Government of Sudan to continue to improve its conduct," Szubin added.

Despite Washington's easing of economic sanctions against Sudan, the African country remains on the US blacklist of State Sponsors of Terrorism -- along with Iran and Syria.

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