Egypt: Take Sudan off US terror-sponsor list

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (Photo: AP)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has used his speech at the UN General Assembly to amplify a call to get neighboring Sudan off the United States’ list of countries deemed sponsors of terrorism.

El-Sissi told world leaders Tuesday that taking Sudan off the list would help the country tackle economic problems and reclaim what he called “the place it deserves among the international family.”

Sudan has been on the US list since 1993. Khartoum says getting off it is crucial to rebuilding the country after years of sanctions.

The Obama administration began a process to take Sudan off the list. The procedure was put on hold when mass protests erupted in December against longtime President Omar al-Bashir. The military ousted him in April.

New Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok recently said he’d discussed the issue with the Trump administration.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his speech before world leaders at the United Nations to remind them of the humanitarian cost of Syria’s civil war.

The world must “never forget” the world’s “baby Aylans,” Erdogan said as he held up the photo of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old boy who died in 2015 while trying to reach Turkey’s shores.

The image of the child’s lifeless body prompted outrage and drew the world’s attention to the plight of refugees.

Erdogan called for an end to the nearly nine-year-old civil war and said that many of the 3.6 million asylum seekers residing in Turkey are Syrian. The number of Syrian children born in Turkey has reached half-a-million.

He also used his speech to remind the world about the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul last year.

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told a crowd of several hundred protesters outside the United Nations that he supports regime change in Iran.

“I am speaking in my individual capacity. I am for regime change. Down with the tyrants in Iran. Down with the ayatollah and the mullahs and all the crooks,” he told the crowd, referring to Iran’s clerical leadership.

The rally on Tuesday, organized by opposition groups in exile and The International Convention for the Future of Iran, took place a day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is set to deliver his remarks before the UN General Assembly.

It’s one of several high-profile anti-Iranian government events taking place on the sidelines of the UN gathering this week.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is dismissing what he says are media lies about fires in the Amazon and says the rain forest is not being devastated.

Bolsonaro told a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations Tuesday that many fires occur naturally in the forest during dry weather, though he did also acknowledge some are intentionally set.

Satellite data from the Brazilian Space Agency has shown a sharp increase in deforestation and forest fires in the past year. In August, the agency issued an alert that fires in the Amazon had increased 84% in the first seven months of this year, compared with the same period in 2018.

Reports of the fires drew widespread attention — and condemnation of the Bolsonaro administration’s policies on the environment.

Bolsonaro said: “The Amazon is not being devastated nor is it being consumed by fire as the media misleadingly says.”