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Expand Sudan arms ban, rabbis urge

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More than 275 American rabbis urged an expansion of the arms embargo to Sudan.

In a letter Monday to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice under the auspices of the American Jewish World Service, the rabbis asked that Rice “press all countries to voluntarily suspend any arms sales to Sudan and to use the U.S. seat on the United Nations Security Council to introduce a resolution to expand the current U.N. arms embargo this October.”

The rabbis extend across the denominational spectrum, the AJWS said.

They placed a particular emphasis on the government of China because that country, according to the letter, is providing an estimated 90 percent of Sudan’s small arms imports.

“It is critical that the U.S. undertake robust diplomacy to ensure that China does not block passage of a resolution to expand the arms embargo,” the rabbis said.

“We urge you to make good on your promise to the people of Darfur,” the letter concluded, citing President Bush’s previous statement that the crisis in Darfur is a priority for his administration.

On Wednesday, the AJWS is sponsoring vigils at Chinese missions, consulates and embassies in four U.S. cities – Washington, Chicago, New York and San Francisco – to protest China’s continued sale of small arms to Sudan.

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