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Pompeo hopeful to remove Sudan from U.S. terror list in approaching weeks

June 24, 2020 (WASHINGTON) - The United States is hopeful of concluding during the upcoming weeks the process for Sudan’s removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism said Michael Pompeo, the Secretary of State.

Pompeo speaks to the media in August 2019 (Reuters photo)Pompeo made his remakes during a press conference on the release of the U.S. reports on terrorism on Wednesday.

"I spoke with the prime minister (Abdallah Hamdok) just a couple of hours ago. We’re working very closely with them to try and come to a solution so that we can get the right outcome for their new leadership and for the Sudanese people," he said.

"My team on the ground there is working very closely with the Sudanese leadership to try and get a really good outcome. And I’m hopeful that that will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead," he further said.

Earlier this week, Asma Abdallah, Sudan’s Foreign Minister told the AFP that her government is finalizing a deal on the compensation of the victims of the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Following what the United States is expected to delist Sudan "as soon as possible," Abdallah stressed.

In the same press conference, Nathan Sales, ambassador-at-large and the U.S. coordinator for counterterrorism declined to confirm if Sudan formally sent a written declaration that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future as part of the potential rescission process.

This step is crucial in the rescission process and indicates that the parties very close to conclude it.

"I can’t comment on diplomatic exchanges that are happening between the United States and any other government," said Sales.

"Legally speaking, any country that wishes to be removed from the SST list has to provide credible assurances that it will not support terrorism in the future. And in the particular case of Sudan, it has been a requirement for the United States that victims of terrorist attacks that were enabled by the previous Bashir regime must be compensated for the injuries they’ve suffered," he stressed.

He further said they are working closely with Hamdok’s government which they want to see succeed but at the same time they want to make sure that American victims of the Bashir regime-era terrorist attacks "receive the compensation they’re entitled to".

Pompeo’s call with Hamdok

In a separate development Pompeo discussed with Hamdok the donor meeting that will be held on Thursday to support the Sudanese government transitional programme, said Morgan Ortagus, U.S. Department Spokesperson.

"They reviewed progress towards addressing the policy and statutory requirements for consideration of rescission of Sudan’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation," Ortagus added.

Hamdok and Pompeo also discussed Sudan’s democratic transition, the ongoing peace negotiations, and economic and security sector reform efforts.

"Secretary Pompeo urged Sudan to work with the international community to ensure effective protection of civilians, especially in conflict areas such as Darfur".