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Sudan, U.S. officials discuss terrorism list in Washington

Sudan finance minister Mohamed Osman al-Rikabi  (ST Photo)
Sudan finance minister Mohamed Osman al-Rikabi (ST Photo)

April 27, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Finance Minister Mohamed Osman al-Rikabi has discussed with the U.S. Assistant Treasury Secretary the removal of Sudan’s name from the list of states sponsors of terrorism.

The meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Group Spring Meetings in Washington, has also discussed the cancellation of Sudan’s foreign debt.

In press statements upon his return from Washington on Thursday, al-Rikabi expected Sudan’s name to be lifted from the terror list soon.

“We held separate meetings with the World Bank group and the U.S. Treasury Department besides the UK Department for International Development where we discussed issues facing the African continent and ways to provide funds for it,” he said

Al-Rikabi also pointed to his meeting with the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John Sullivan, describing the meeting as fruitful and successful.

The Sudanese minister said he demanded Sullivan to speed up the process for removing Sudan’s name from the terror list and normalization of relations between the two countries.

He added a meeting was held with some U.S. businessmen and banks with the participation of representatives from the Bank of Khartoum, saying they discussed ways to open branches for US banks in Sudan as well as urging correspondent banks to deal with Sudanese banks.

Al-Rikabi further pointed to his meeting with the Deputy Managing Director at the IMF, saying they discussed challenges facing the Sudanese economy including the lifting of Sudan’s name from the terror list and the debt relief.

In a report released in December 2017, the IMF estimated that Sudan’s external debt reached $ 52.4 billion or 111 percent of GDP.

The international body repeatedly underscored the need to remove Sudan from the U.S. terror list to benefit from debt relief.

Last October Washington permanently cancelled the 20-year economic sanctions on Sudan opening the door for the normalization of bilateral relation and removal of remaining sanctions on the east African country particularly its removal from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

Washington is involved in a five-track engagement process with Sudan towards the full normalization of relations.

The five-track process includes the fight against terrorism, Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Sudan’s role in the peace process in South Sudan, Sudan’s peace and the humanitarian situation in the Blue Nile andSouth Kordofan states.

(ST)

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