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U.S. special envoy meets with Sudan’s foreign minister

August 26, 2015 (KHARTOUM)- The United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald E. Booth, on Wednesday has discussed with Sudan’s foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, the outstanding issues between the two countries.

Sudan's FM Ibrahim Ghandour (R- center) meets with the visiting U.S. special envoy Donald Booth in Khartoum on 26 August 2015 (Photo ST) Sudan’s foreign ministry information department issued a brief statement saying the visit of the American envoy and his accompanying delegation would last for two days.

The US embassy in Khartoum announced that the envoy is paying a rare visit to Sudan to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries.

“The visit comes within the framework of our diplomatic efforts to develop ties with the Sudanese and to discuss all issues framing relations between the two nations,” said the embassy spokesperson, Caroline Schneider.

Booth arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday in his first visit since nearly two years. In November 2013 Khartoum refused to grant a visa for the American diplomat after Washington’s tacit rejection to deliver a visa for the Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir to attend the U.N. General Assembly in September of that year.

Nothing was filtered from the meeting. Booth is expected to hold a press conference at the end of his visit.

Sudan has been on the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism since 1993, even though the two countries have strengthened their counter-terrorism cooperation since the September 2001 attacks on Washington and New York.

Washington also imposed economic and trade sanctions on Sudan in 1997 in response to its alleged connection to terror networks and human rights abuses. In 2007, it strengthened the embargo, citing abuses in Darfur which it says constitutes genocide.

According to experts, the scarcity of hard currency in Sudan as a result of the US economic sanctions has significantly contributed to the rise of the black market exchange rate that soared over 10 pounds (SDG) this week.

(ST)