Last week, the Forward reported that the State Department was investigating whether The New York Times ran afoul of American sanctions by publishing an advertising supplement on Sudan. The advertisement, which appeared March 20 in editions of the Times in the New York metropolitan area, touted investment opportunities in Sudan.
It now appears that the Times will be cleared of wrongdoing. The Treasury Department, which has been conducting the investigation, will not comment on an ongoing probe. But a Treasury spokesman told the Forward, “Under the Sudan sanctions program, a media outlet may run advertising for Sudan but cannot create advertising for the country. Thus simply publishing an advertisement would most likely be permissible under the sanctions.”
America has maintained a complex set of sanctions against the North African nation since 1997. The sanctions initially were aimed at punishing Sudan’s support for international terrorism, efforts to destabilize neighboring governments and violations of human rights. In recent years, the government in Khartoum has come under intense criticism from Western nations and human rights groups for allegedly encouraging genocide in the Sudanese region of Darfur.
The Times said that neither the State nor the Treasury department has contacted the paper.
The advertisement was created by Summit Communications, which told the Forward that the articles in the supplement were based on interviews with Sudanese government officials and were paid for by Sudanese companies. Summit is registered in London, with main offices in New York and Washington.