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Sudan FM, US envoy discuss ways to launch talks on removal from terror list

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November 14, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Foreign Minister Asma Mohamed Abdallah on Monday discussed with US Special Envoy to Sudan Donald Booth bilateral dialogue to normalize relations and Sudan’s lifting from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST).

Asma Mohamed Abdallah Sudan's FM meets US SPecial ENvoy Donald Booth on 14 Nov 2019 (FM photo).jpgAfter long hesitation, Washington decided last October to rescind Sudan designation as SST in support of the revolution that led to the collapse of the al-Bashir regime.

However, American officials have not agreed with the Sudanese government on a roadmap for the SST rescission, as they did with the former regime.

However, the foreign ministry said that Booth discussed with Abdallah ways to normalize relations and Sudan delisting from the SST.

"The two sides discussed joint efforts to normalize bilateral relations between Sudan and the United States, including the upgrading of diplomatic relations to the ambassadorial level," said the foreign ministry in a statement released after the meeting.

"They also discussed the resumption of bilateral dialogue between the two countries to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism," further stressed the statement.

Five days after al-Bashir’s ouster on 16 April 2019, a U.S. official told Reuters that a "different statutory path to SST rescission may be available if there is a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of the government of Sudan”.

The statement did not say if the new agreement will be similar to the one agreed with the former regime in November 2018 or not.

Hamdok will travel to Washington next December and an agreement on this respect could be announced at the end of his visit.

Sudan’s transitional government needs desperately for the SST removal to be eligible for debt relief and to have the possibility to borrow from the international financial institutions.

The U.S. government added Sudan to its list of terrorism in 1993 over allegations that then-President Omar al-Bashir’s government was supporting terrorism. The Islamist Bashir was toppled by the military after three decades in power.

In August 1993, U.S. administration added Sudan to the SST saying Khartoum harboured international terrorists, including Osama bin Laden.

(ST)

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