US agrees to Remove Sudan from Terrorism Blacklist after Settlement

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The United States President Donald Trump has agreed to remove Sudan from its State Sponsors of Terrorism list after the country has made a settlement of $335 million to victims of Al-Qaeda attacks on US embassies in 1998.

Trump announced this in his tweet on Monday after a Sudanese government source said Khartoum was ready to pay.

His post reads:

“GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!”

In response to Trump’s tweet, the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok posted:

“Thank you so much, President Trump! We very much look forward to your official notification to Congress rescinding the designation of Sudan as a state-sponsor of terrorism, which has cost Sudan too much.”

“This Tweet and that notification are the strongest support to Sudan’s transition to democracy and to the Sudanese people… As we’re about to get rid of the heaviest legacy of Sudan’s previous, defunct regime, I should reiterate that we are peace-loving people and have never supported terrorism.”

Sudan has always been regarded as a state sponsor of terrorism since the rule of Omar Al-Bashir. This designation has made it difficult for its transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.

Sudanese see this as undeserved since Bashir was removed last year and Sudan has long cooperated with the United States on counterterrorism.

A pivotal point in US-Sudan talks has been Sudan’s insistence that any announcement of Khartoum’s delisting not be explicitly linked to normalisation with Israel. Differences remain between Sudanese political and military officials on how far and how fast to go in warming relations with Israel.

However, in September, the Reuters news agency quoted him as saying that he had told US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo that there should be no link between the two issues and that building ties with Israel “needs a deep discussion” within Sudanese society.