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U.S. working to rescind Sudan’s designation as state sponsor of terrorism: Booth

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TMC head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan shakes hands with US envoy to Sudan Donald Booth on 15 July 2019 (ST photo)
October 24, 2019 (WASHINGTON) - The United States is doing its best to ensure a quick rescission of Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST), said Donald Booth, U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan on Tuesday.

Booth made his remarks at the Atlantic Council in Washington which hosted an event on Sudan with the participation of the Sudanese Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Badawi who took part in the Friends of Sudan meeting in Washington on 21 October.

In a statement on the outcome of the meeting, the State Department announced they had begun engagement with the Sudanese government on the requirements for (a) potential recession of Sudan’s SST designation.

The special envoy in his intervention explained that they understand the impact that the SST designation on Sudan pointing it is not the only restriction that prevents them from dealing with Sudan and pointed to congressional acts on Sudan and other acts.

"So, there are many areas, we have restrictions on what we can do. But I want to assure everyone that the US government is looking to do the maximum we can, given the legislative restrictions that we have," he said.

"Certainly we are engaging with the Congress to look at how some of those restrictions may be interpreted or can be modified going forward," he added.

Booth statement indicated a new development in Washington’s position towards the Sudanese transitional authority.

Until last September, U.S. officials voiced concerns towards the participation of Sudanese military in the government saying they want to be sure about their real intentions before lifting the SST designation.

Sudanese Minister al-Badawi told the AFP that the U.S. pledged without giving a date that Sudan’s removal from the blacklist will take place "before the end of the year, hopefully".

Booth said they have first to verify that Sudan is no longer a state sponsor of terrorism.

"It is a multistep process and Sudan will have to meet the statutory and policy criteria for the lifting of SST," he stressed.

Further, he pointed to the other restrictions in the U.S. system on Sudan: the congressional acts of 2002, 2004, and 2006 which put in place many overlapping restrictions.

Also, he pointed to a number of other acts they are global scope such as child soldiers, trafficking in persons and religious freedom, saying under these acts Sudan is subject to sanctions.

In his remarks, the US diplomat admitted that the need for radical economic reforms during the transitional period, and to protect poor and vulnerable households through safety nets programme built with the support of the World Bank.

Currently, Sudan is not eligible for the International Development Association grants. from the World Bank

(ST)

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