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Sudan says ready to resume normalization talks with U.S.

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 )

May 27, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Foreign Ministry has expressed readiness to start the second phase of normalization talks with the United States.

State Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdallah Idris told the pro-government Sudan Media Center (SMC) they embarked on making arrangements to launch the second phase of dialogue with the U.S. according to the five-track engagement plan.

He pointed out that Sudan has met all requirements of the engagement plan, saying several U.S. organs have recognized Sudan’s commitment to the bilateral dialogue.

In October 2017, Washington decided to lift economic sanctions on Sudan in line with a five-track framework reached by the two countries in December 2016. Khartoum, accordingly, authorized humanitarian access to civilians in Darfur and unilaterally declared a cessation of hostilities in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The two countries agreed to resume talks on the normalization of bilateral talks and the lift of remaining sanctions particularly Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorist groups. The measure is crucial to get a debt relief and allow Sudan to get international aid to build its economic infrastructure.

In November 2017, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, was in Khartoum to launch the second phase of the normalization process and pointed to the need for reforms on human rights and religious freedom. Also, the two countries agreed to engage in written exchanges for Sudan’s removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

(ST)