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Talks on Sudan removal from U.S. terror list to start in November: Ghandour

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour shakes hand with John Sullivan U.S. Deputy Secretary of State on 14 September 2014 (ST Photo)
October 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan removal from the U.S. list of states sponsors of terrorism will top the agenda of bilateral talks on the normalization of bilateral relations which is expected to resume next month.

Earlier this month, Washington lift the 20-year old economic sanctions on the east African country. The deal is part of a process aiming to restore confidence between the two countries and to bring the Sudanese government achieve peace and democratic reforms.

The give and take process will handle the Sudan removal from the terror list, a measure needed to get a debt relief and allow the poor country to get international aid to build its economic infrastructure.

Speaking at a seminar about the effects of lifting sanctions on Saturday, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour disclosed the next phase of talks with the United States on the normalization of relations will resume next month.

He added that the lifting the name of Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism will top the agenda of the meetings.

Furthermore, Ghandour who leads the government’s delegation in the process stressed that the sanctions lift has paved the way for the normalization with the U.S. and the international community and created the "psychological" conditions needed to build normal relations.

The foreign minister said that the national dialogue, despite the boycott of the holdout opposition groups had a clear and effective impact in the lifting the sanctions.

Further, he pointed to the importance of strengthening the national unity through a direct dialogue with all the rejectionists from the opposition groups and achieving the peace process.

He also dismissed reports that the normalisation process would lead to excluding the Sudanese Islamists from power.

On 6 October, President Donald Trump repealed the economic sanction based on the implementation of a five-track plan including some measures dealing with internal issues like the cessation of hostilities with the rebel groups and improving humanitarian access. Also, the agreement dealt with regional matter like supporting peace in South Sudan and combating Ugandan rebel LRA group.

Referring to the five tracks framework, Ghandour said "the five tracks have become a national agenda" and said the government will remain committed to this deal.

(ST)