Obama lifts ban on US defense exports to S.Sudan

January 6, 2012 22:42

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Friday lifted US restrictions on defense sales to South Sudan, marking another step to regularize US ties with Africa's newest nation.

Obama, in a directive to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said he was permitting the United States to furnish defense articles and defense services to South Sudan because doing so "will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace."

South Sudan formally declared its independence from Sudan in July under a 2005 peace agreement, and the United States has worked to free the young country from economic and political sanctions originally imposed on the Khartoum government.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States and South Sudan were discussing the parameters of future defense relations, but that no decisions had been made.

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