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Sudan’s central bank, U.S. treasury and banks to meet in London: official

December 14, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury Department and international banks will meet in London to discuss banking transactions with Khartoum, CBoS Acting Governor said.

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Logo of the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Sudan has been under U.S. sanction since 1997, so financial institutions and banks are very careful when it comes to transaction and business in connection with this country.

After a severe punishment of $9 billion on the BNP Paribas in May 2015, many institutions stopped banking transfers and transactions fearing sanctions.

In an interview with the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper Wednesday, CBoS acting governor Al-Gaili Bashir said the upcoming meeting in London “will mark the beginning of a new era in the future of Sudan’s economy”.

Bashir pointed that OFAC has extended an invitation to the CBoS and the correspondents of the international banks to meet in London to brief them on the sectors that have been exempted from the U.S. sanctions.

It is noteworthy that agriculture equipment and services are excluded from Sudan sanctions; Washington also allowed exports of personal communications hardware and software. Further, the U.S. Treasury Department removed the private Bank of Khartoum from a blacklist of Sudanese entities.

Also, in September Washington said that U.S. sanctions on Sudan do not include private and remittance humanitarian aid to the eastern African country.

Bashir added that his country has suffered greatly from the sanctions which adversely affected medical equipments, means of transport, aircraft parts and auto parts as well as the flow of foreign investments to the Sudan.

He added that the meeting would be attended by the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth as well as senior officials from the U.S Treasury Department and the OFAC besides international banks correspondents, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary and Sudan’s ambassador to London.

The Sudanese official expressed optimism over the outcome of the meeting, saying it would pave the way to reconsider the European Union and donor support and debt forgiveness programs for developing nations.

The U.S. Department of State organized a workshop in New York on September 19, 2016 attended by foreign and domestic financial institutions and members of the private sector U.S.-Sudan Business Council in a bid to clarify the situation with regard to Sudan sanctions.

During the one day seminar, the American officials explained “the jurisdictional limits of U.S. sanctions for transactions which do not involve U.S. goods or have a U.S. nexus”.

Earlier this year Sudan’s Minister of Finance Badr al-Din Mahmoud, said his government is not affected by the sanctions as it deals with other currencies but not the dollar.

He further called to explain the American sanctions on Sudan to the commercial banks saying Sudanese people are the most affected by this programme.

(ST)