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Next July will be decisive for the future of Sudan-U.S. relations: diplomat

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U.S. President Donald Trump looks on following a swearing-in ceremony for Defence Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon on January 27, 2017 (Reuters/Carlos Barria Photo)

February 1, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - An U.S. embassy official in Khartoum said the eighth of July will be decisive for the relations between Sudan and the United States because it will resolve the matter of sanctions on Sudan permanently or reinstate it.

The Obama administration on 13 January 2017 decided to ease Sudan sanctions, citing the cooperation of the east African country in counterterrorism. However , the partial left of sanctions would be definitive within six months after a last review by the US agencies.

Speaking in a symposium at the Association of Banks premises in Khartoum the Political and Economic Advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, David Scott, stressed that the reports covering the upcoming six-month period will determine the fate of sanctions.

The American diplomat further said the recent travel ban of President Donald set off mass confusion in Sudan as many thought that it represents a set back and cancelled the decision of the former President Barak Obama to ease sanctions.

Scott was referring to the presidential executive order barring citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days.

American diplomats across the world and particularly in the seven countries hit by the travel ban seek since last Friday to minimise the impact of the new border policy based on religion.

For the State Department and the CIA, the two organs that worked to restore relations with Sudan, Trump’s decision may break all their efforts to improve relations with the government of President Omer al-Bashir to fight terrorism and preserve the regional stability.

A Sudanese security official said in statements published on Tuesday that the CIA office in Khartoum is the largest office in the Middle East. He said that to give an idea about the important cooperation between intelligence officers in the two countries.

Another diplomat at the economic section of the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, Theodore Thomas, said the American investments will not flow to Sudan immediately after the decision to ease sanctions.

He stressed that attracting investors requires improving the investment environment to gain the confidence of investors especially through the adoption of laws that protect them, and the fight against corruption which makes a lot of investors are reluctant to invest in Sudan.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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