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Sudanese, U.S. officials to discuss normalization of ties in New York

September 19, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Senior Sudanese and U.S. officials on Thursday will meet in New York to continue discussions on bilateral relations.

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John Kerry (R) shakes hands with the Sudan’s FM Ibrahim Ghandour as they pose for photos at the Palace Hotel in New York, October 2, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Stephanie Keith)

According to Al-Sudani newspaper on Monday, a ministerial team formed by President Omer al-Bashir to follow up on relations with Washington, would discuss with U.S. officials ways to normalize ties between the two countries and possibilities for implementing partial lifting of sanctions especially with regard to banking wire transfers.

The Sudanese team is headed by foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour and it includes representatives from the Defence Ministry, Finance Ministry, Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS), Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

Also, the governor of the CBoS, Under-Secretary of the Finance Ministry, Under-Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, and the head of the economic sector at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) besides several economists have arrived in New York to participate in a joint business symposium with the U.S. officials.

According to Al-Sudani, the Sudanese side will seek during the symposium to inform the U.S. media on the adverse impact of the economic sanctions imposed on the country.

It is noteworthy that the U.S. authorities have exempted Sudan’s permanent mission to the United Nations and the Sudanese embassy in Washington from the financial sanctions and allowed them to receive money transfers from the CBoS through a third party.

In May 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Idriss Jazairy as UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights in Sudan.

Sudan’s foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour disclosed that he has discussed with his American counterpart John Kerry ways to elaborate a road map to normalize ties between Khartoum and Washington during the coming period.

Following a meeting in New York in October 2015, Ghandour said that he discussed with his American counterpart John Kerry ways to elaborate a road map to normalize ties between Khartoum and Washington during the coming period.

Since, the two sides held several meetings to that effect but no tangible move has so far been taken.

Sudan says Washington didn’t honour its pledges to lift Sudan from the United States list of state sponsors of terrorism after the independence of South Sudan and kept sanctions for political reasons.

But Washington says Khartoum has to end the armed conflict in South Darfur and Blue Nile states and to settle Darfur crisis.

CONFERENCE ON U.S. SANCTIONS ON SUDAN IN NEW YORK

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State said it would host a conference on Monday in New York to discuss the U.S. sanctions on Sudan.

In a media note extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday, the U.S. Department of State said it would be represented in the conference by the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Andrew Keller.

“Representatives from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security will provide technical guidance on complying with U.S. sanctions and export controls relating to Sudan” read the media note.

“This conference is consistent with U.S. government efforts to conduct compliance outreach to inform the public about U.S. sanctions and export controls. Attendees will include domestic and foreign financial institutions. A Sudanese delegation led by the Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan will also attend,” it added.

Sudan has been under US economic sanctions since 1997 and remains on the US list of state sponsors of terror.

Washington eased the sanctions imposed on agriculture equipment and services, and allowed exports of personal communications hardware and software. Also, the US Treasury Department removed the private Bank of Khartoum from a blacklist of Sudanese entities.

(ST)