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Khartoum, Washington exchange ideas over Sudan removal from terror list: FM

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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 )
December 24, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim revealed an agreement with Washington to engage in written exchanges between the two countries for Sudan’s removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Last October, U.S. President Donald Trump decided to revoke economic sanctions on Sudan in line with a five-track framework agreement for a humanitarian cessation of hostilities in Sudan and Khartoum cooperation with Washington to fight terrorism and address regional conflicts.

"Sudan agreed with the United States to exchange documents to build in the coming weeks a strategy to lift the name of Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and also to agree on other tracks in the second round of talks between Khartoum and Washington," Ghandour said in an interview with the BBC television aired on Sunday evening.

The Sudanese minister didn’t develop on the positions of his government on this respect. But U.S. Deputy Secretary of State during a visit to Khartoum last November stressed on the need for reform on human rights and religious freedom.

His call comes in line with a declared American strategy that Sudan lift from the list of terror states should be linked to the issues of freedoms in Sudan and the end of the war.

"In addition, supporting human rights, including religious freedom, has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of the United States’ bilateral engagement with Sudan," Sullivan said in a speech delivered during his visit to Khartoum.

Revoking the designation of state sponsors of terrorism list has been a key concern of the Sudanese government because it allows the United States to impose sanctions and penalties on Sudan in the future.

Furthermore, securing debt relief is a crucial step for Sudan to borrow from the IMF and get the needed fund for economic development as its current high arrears and failure to reimburse previous loans cut Sudan’s ability to seek funds from the international financial system.

(ST)

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