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Sudan, U.S. to discuss removal from terror list

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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 )

September 18, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan and the United States will hold a new round of talks on the normalisation of bilateral relations and Sudan removal from the list of countries supporting terrorism.

A Senior Sudanese diplomat speaking to Sudan Tribune under the cover of anonymity on Tuesday disclosed that the bilateral talks will be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings which have already started this week and will end in October.

In October 2017, the United States ended a twenty-year economic embargo on Sudan but said its removal from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism requires a number of benchmarks after admitting that Khartoum is no longer supporting terrorism.

The process is now linked to the improvement of human rights records including religious freedom and democratic reforms. However, Washington is no longer speaking about the end of the war in the Two Areas and Darfur because the American diplomats say the armed groups share the responsibility in the delay of the peace process.

Since a visit by to Khartoum in November 2017, John Sullivan Deputy Secretary of State has agreed with the former Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour to exchange written notes on the outstanding issues.

Also, several US diplomats, military and counterterrorism officials visited Sudan to discuss with the Sudanese officials specific issues including the relations with North Korea.

In February 2018, Enough Project released a report claiming that the Sudanese regime is "empowering extremist groups, including religious extremists that advocate for deadly international terrorist groups from within Sudan,”

Enough also called to ensure that Khartoum repeals "laws and policies that drive religious discrimination against Christians as well as minority Muslim sects and practices, namely the blasphemy, apostasy, and public order laws. In addition, repeal the administrative ordinances blocking the construction of churches".

The Sudanese delegation to the UN General Assembly is chaired by Foreign Minister El-Dirdeiry Ahmed who we address the meeting on 1 October.

(ST)

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