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Sudan agrees to Saudi request to resume meetings on lift of U.S. sanctions: official

King Salman (R) speaks with President Omer al-Bashir in Makkah on 20 June 2017 (SPA Photo)
July 18, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - President Omer al-Bashir agreed to a Saudi request to continue positive engagement with the US administration and its official agencies for the permanent lift of economic sanctions on Khartoum, announced he Sudanese government Tuesday.

Last week, the Sudanese president decided to suspend the participation of his government in a joint committee on the permanent revocation of sanctions In response to a decision by President Donald Trump to postpone his decision on the embargo for three months.

At the time, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour minimised the decision saying it does not mean the suspension of bilateral communications between the different agencies in the two countries.

In a joint statement read by the Sudanese foreign minister at the end of his visit to Riyadh where he met with the Kind Salman and the Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, al-Bashir publically cancelled his previous decision and accepted that his government officials resume the bilateral meeting on the sanctions.

"In response to the request of Saudi leadership, the President agreed to continue to communicate positively with the U.S. Administration and its official agencies in the coming period, in order to ensure the permanent lift of sanctions on Sudan, in addition to removing Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism and resolving all existing problems between the two countries," says the joint communiqué.

On 12 July, Washington said it needs to discuss with Khartoum the human rights situation and religious freedom in the east African country, besides its commitment to UN sanctions on South Korea.

The three matters were not part of the five-track framework negotiated between the two countries last year but the Administration was under huge pressure from 53 Congressmen and activists.

The statement further said that al-Bashir thanked the Saudi leadership for the efforts exerted to improve relations between the Sudan and the United States.

"The two sides stressed the importance of fighting terrorism and extremism and combat its financing because it represents a threat to peaceful societies around the world. They also reiterate their commitment to all international resolutions in this regard. "

The Saudi Arabia pledged in the past to support the lift of economic sanctions on Sudan.

There were reports saying that Riyadh supported the delay of permanent lift due to Khartoum refusal to cut relations with Qatar. But the Sudanese foreign ministry denied these reports.

(ST)