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Sudan, U.S. discuss military cooperation

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U.S. Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Commander James Craig (2-L) received by Sudanese Army's Chief of General Staff Kamal Abdel-Marouf (1-R) on Tuesday 4 December 2018 (ST)
December 5, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Commander of the U.S. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa James Craig has praised Sudan’s efforts to achieve regional security and stability.

Sudanese Army’s Chief of General Staff Kamal Abdel-Marouf on Tuesday met with Craig in the presence of the military attaché at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum Adam Cordish.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Sudanese army said the meeting discussed ways to promote joint military cooperation as well as the ongoing dialogue between the two countries.

For his part, Abdel-Marouf renewed Sudan’s keenness to promote its relations with the U.S., saying the second phase of dialogue is expected to lead to the removal of Sudan’s name from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

He said Sudan looks forward to building a strategic military partnership with the U.S., pointing to his recent visit to Washington.

In April 2017, Sudan participated for the first time in the meeting of the United States Africa Command known as "AFRICOM". At the time, the Sudanese army Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Emad al-Din Mustafa Adawi took part in a meeting of AFRICOM chiefs of general staff in Stuttgart, Germany.

In October 2017, the U.S. Administration permanently lifted 20-year-old economic sanctions against Sudan citing positive actions on humanitarian access and counter-terrorism.

The decision was in line with the "Five Track Engagement Plan", in which Khartoum agreed to a cessation of hostilities with the armed groups, opened unfettered humanitarian access in the conflict-affected areas, agreed to support efforts for peace in South Sudan and developed cooperation with the U.S. to counter terrorism in the region.

However, Washington didn’t remove Sudan’s name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. In addition, it keeps in place targeted sanctions against individuals with arrest warrants related to atrocities committed during the conflict in Darfur.

Last month, Sudanese foreign minister El-Dirdeiry Ahmed and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan started talks in Washington on the normalization of bilateral relations and the removal of his country from the terror list which is the major obstacle in this respect.

At the time, sources close to the talks told Sudan Tribune that the two sides agreed to develop a new plan labelled the “five-track engagement +1” to say it would include important parts of the previous five-track engagement that led to the lift of the economic sanctions.

The sources further pointed out that the focus in the new plan will be on the human rights and freedoms particularly religious freedom.

“So, this time Washington wants Khartoum to observe the international law and principles on this respects but also to amend its repressive and coercive laws,” the sources said.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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