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U.S. envoy rules out possibility of setback in relations with Sudan

US charge d'affaires Steven Koutsis speaks on 11 July 2017 (ST photo)
July 11, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Khartoum Steven Koutsis has ruled out the possibility of a setback in relations between his country and Sudan regardless of the U.S. Administration’s decision on economic sanctions.

In press statements on Tuesday, Koutsis said “the Sudanese-U.S. relations will witness an important development, whether or not the economic sanctions on Sudan have been lifted”.

“Everyone is waiting for the U.S. Administration’s decision on the sanctions tomorrow, Wednesday but we do not want to go back, no matter what the decision is,” he said.

Last January, former President Barack Obama issued an executive order providing temporary relief from many U.S. sanctions against Sudan that have been in effect for almost 20 years.

Washington is involved in a five-track engagement process with the Sudan over the permanent lift of sanctions on Sudan. By the 12 July, based on an interagency report including the State Department the President Donald Trump is expected to issue a decision on whether to maintain or to remove the lift of economic sanctions on Sudan.

The five-track process includes the fight against terrorism, Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Sudan’s role in the peace process in South Sudan, Sudan’s peace and the humanitarian situation in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

On Monday, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said Khartoum wouldn’t accept from Washington any decision other than the permanent lifting of economic sanctions imposed on the country.

(ST)