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Sudanese officials optimistic of full lifting of U.S. sanctions

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September 20, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A number of Sudanese officials have expressed optimism over the full lift of more than 20 years of U.S. sanctions against Khartoum.

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The US imposed comprehensive sanctions on Sudan in 1997 (US Embassy in Khartoum website)

Washington is involved in a five-track engagement process with the Sudan over the permanent lift of sanctions on Sudan. The 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 Darfur region, the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Last January, former U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order easing the Sudan sanctions on a probationary basis. The sanctions relief was to become permanent on 12 July unless the U.S. Administration acted to stop it.

President Donald Trump, in a new executive order issued on 11 July, moved that deadline back by three months, while keeping the temporary sanctions relief in place, citing the need to take more time to assess the robust process.

Sudan’s presidential assistant Awad al-Jaz told the Russian news agency Sputnik that statements by some U.S. officials indicate that they don’t see any reason for maintaining the sanctions on Sudan.

“There are reports from both sides and there are joint committees and part of these economic sanctions was lifted in June this year,” he said.

“The joint committees are still meeting with each other, and there are statements from U.S. officials indicating that they find no reason to keep these sanctions on Sudan,” he added.

Al-Jaz pointed out that the government adapted to living under the sanctions regime since 1997, saying they eventually sat with the U.S. at the negotiating table to reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Chargé affairs to Washington Muawiya Osman Khalid has expressed his optimism over the lift of U.S. sanctions on Sudan.

He told the pro-government Ashorooq TV that he expects further rapprochement between Khartoum and Washington during the coming period.

Khalid said the recent visit by the U.S. businessmen to Sudan came within the framework of exploring the economic opportunities ahead of the full lift of sanctions.

He added the visits of a number of the Sudanese delegations to Washington were intended to lay out the Sudanese point of view and introduce Sudan in various economic and cultural fields.

“We are confident that we are embarking on a better era in relations that would pave the road for more rapprochement and joint action between the two countries,” he said.

It is noteworthy that a number of U.S. officials have visited Sudan recently to assess the implementation of the five-track engagement process.

During a visit to Sudan late last month, the head of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mark Green said his country is keen to normalise relations with Sudan and promote cooperation in the various fields.

(ST)

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