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Ghandour, Sullivan agree to begin talks on Sudan removal from U.S. terror list


Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, third from left, met with Sudan's foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, fourth from right, in Khartoum on 16 November 2017. (Photo AFP/ Ebrahim Hamid )
February 16, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan have agreed to begin discussions on Sudan removal from the U.S. list of states sponsor of terrorism, said a statement released by the foreign ministry in Khartoum on Friday.

Ghandour and Sullivan held a meeting in Germany on the sidelines of the 54th edition of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), a major global forum for the discussion of security policy.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Garib Allah Khidir. said the two senior diplomats discussed means of developing relations between the two countries.

"The two sides agreed on the beginning of the second phase of the dialogue, which aims to remove Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and address debt and address common concerns," Khidir further said.

Minister Ghandour reiterated Sudan’s commitment to continue the implementing the five tracks and called on the US administration to continue its efforts to remove obstacles to money transfers for Sudanese banks, he said.

In October 2017, Washington decided to lift economic sanctions on Sudan in line with a five-track framework reached by the countries in December 2016. Khartoum, accordingly, authorized humanitarian access to civilians in Darfur and unilaterally declared a cessation of hostilities in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The two countries agreed to resume talks on the normalization of bilateral talks and the lift of remaining sanctions particularly its designation as a state sponsor of terrorist groups. the measure is crucial to get a debt relief and allow Sudan to get international aid to build its economic infrastructure.

In November 2017, Sullivan was in Khartoum to launch the second phase of the normalization process and pointed to the need for reforms on human rights and religious freedom. Also, the two countries also agreed to engage in written exchanges between the two countries for Sudan’s removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Different sources say the lawsuits filed against the Sudanese government over the attack on USS Cole may be one of the issues raised in the bilateral talks as the families of the Cole sailors sued Sudan and courts condemned Khartoum to pay over 300 million dollars for them.


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