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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 23, 2004
President's Statement on the Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act, 2004
Today, I have signed into law S. 2781, the "Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act of 2004" (the "Act"). The Act is intended to help resolve conflict, reduce human suffering, and encourage freedom and democracy.
Section 6 of the Act includes provisions that, if construed as mandatory, would impermissibly interfere with the President's exercise of his constitutional authorities to conduct the Nation's foreign affairs, participate in international negotiations, and supervise the unitary executive branch. Section 6(a), for example, appears to require the President to implement the measures set forth in section 6(b)(2) of the earlier Sudan Peace Act (Public Law 107-245), which purports to direct or burden the conduct of negotiations by the executive branch with foreign governments, international financial institutions, and the United Nations Security Council. When necessary to avoid such unconstitutional interference, the executive branch shall construe the provisions of section 6 as advisory.
The executive branch shall construe provisions in the Act that mandate submission of information to the Congress, or the public, in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information that could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties. Such provisions include sections 8 and 12 of the Sudan Peace Act as amended by section 5 of the Act.
Provisions of the Act define a particular entity as the "Government of Sudan" for purposes of implementing the Act and section 12 of the Sudan Peace Act (Public Law 107-245). The executive branch shall construe the provisions in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority for the United States to recognize foreign states and to determine what constitutes the governments of such foreign states.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 23, 2004.
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