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Sudan, U.S. to resume talks on remaining sanction within few weeks

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Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour shakes hand with John Sullivan U.S. Deputy Secretary of State on 14 September 2014 (ST Photo)

November 6, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan and the United States will resume discussions on the remaining outstanding issues in the normalization of bilateral relations within three weeks said Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour on Monday.

Last October, the American administration lifted 20-year economic sanctions on Sudan but other sanctions are still in place such as the designation in the list of states sponsor of terrorism.

"The improvement of relations with Washington is a progress in integration with the U.S. axis, and the government is trying to open up other files in foreign relations," Minister Ghandour told the parliament.

He pointed out that the lifting of economic sanctions contributed to the decline of hostility towards Sudan, and stressed that the steps that led to the termination of sanctions were completed in full coordination between government agencies.

Ghandour said Sudan’s accusation of sponsoring terrorism lacks evidence and logic, adding that they are operating in a very complex environment.

However, he reiterated Sudan’s commitment to "fighting terrorism and human trafficking" and to follow an independent foreign policy.

U.S. administration several times praised Sudan for its counterterrorism cooperation with the American agencies and described the east African country as a "cooperative partner" despite its designation as a pariah state.

But Washington imposed these sanctions also as a result of the bad human rights record in the east African country. Last July, Washington delayed the lift for three additional months pointing to the need for progress in the religious freedom.

Speaking about the level of U.S. embassy in Sudan, Ghandour said maintaining it at the level of chargé d’affaires is an internal matter of the United State but he expects Washington upgrades its diplomatic mission in Khartoum at any time.

He stressed that the completion of dialogue and full normalization with the United States and the European Union is very important because of its implications on the overall foreign policy of the country but also because of the American and European influence in the international relations, especially its economic system.

The minister further pointed out that his ministry’s plan will also focus on the group of BRICS countries including Brasil, Russia, India, China and South Africa which call for an equitable international political and economic order.

The 10th BRICS summit will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2018.

The Minister pointed out that the external challenges Sudan faces are the cancellation of international debt and accession to the World Trade Organization.

(ST)

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