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Sudan awaits American decision to lift sanctions on spare parts

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October 14, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Finance Minister Badr el-Din Mahmoud has expected a decision from the United States easing restrictions on of spare parts of planes and trains, from sanctions on Sudan.

Sudanese finance minister Badr al-Din Mahmoud

Sudan is under economic and trade sanctions since 1997, initially in connection with alleged support to terrorist groups. However in 2007, it strengthened the embargo, citing abuses in Darfur which it labelled as "genocide".

Speaking to the press at Khartoum Airport after his returning from the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) in Washington on Thursday, Minister Mahmoud said U.S. will soon allow the import of spare parts for planes and trains, adding there is a remarkable improvement on the Sudanese-US relations.

He further said he discussed with officials at the U.S. Department of the Treasury the sanctions imposed on his country and the flow of refugees from neighbouring countries, pointing out that the American side responded positively and expressed neediness to support Sudanese efforts to shelter refugees, and to combat human trafficking.

The efforts exerted by the Sudanese government have led to "ease sanctions on the banking sector and the lift sanctions in the future, precisely next December will witness the lift of economic sanctions on Sudan," he further said.

U. S. Department of State last September praised Sudanese government efforts in the fight against terrorism. However, it ruled out the removal of sanctions on the east African country as long as there is no improvement in Darfur conditions.

"While countering terrorism is an important objective for the United States, we continue to engage the Government of Sudan on protecting human rights, resolving internal conflicts, addressing humanitarian needs, improving regional stability, and advancing political freedoms, accountability and reconciliation," said a statement issued on 21 September.

Minister Mahmoud stated that he met with several international financial officials on the sidelines of the IMF meetings, including a meeting with the chairman of the World Bank where they tackled the economic situation in Sudan and ways to support the basic education, electricity, agricultural sectors.

He said he explained that the refugees’ issue puts pressure on the country’s economy, pointing out that Sudan provides assistance to those refugees on behalf of the international community without any support from it.

He also said he met with the UNHCR officials to assist Sudan to monitor and assess refugees.

Sudan hosts refugees from the Horn of Africa countries particularly Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia besides the increasing number of South Sudanese during the last three years.

(ST)

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