Source: Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

December 8, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said on Sunday that compensation for victims of terror attacks is the only outstanding issue in the ongoing negotiations with Washington on removing Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

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The port side damage to the guided missile destroyer USS Cole is pictured after a bomb attack during a refueling operation in the port of Aden in this October 12, 2000 (Reuters file photo)

Speaking at a press conference upon his return from Washington, Hamdok said that his meetings with U.S. officials, including officials of the American administration, Congress and policy-making institutions were fruitful.

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He stressed that negotiations on Sudan's rescission from the SST's list discussed seven requirements, namely, humanitarian access to the civilians in the conflict areas, human rights, religious freedoms, North Korea, the launch of the peace process, cooperation on counterterrorism and compensation for victims of terror attacks.

He pointed out that the first five points were agreed, and that the matter of cooperation in combating terrorism is an ongoing matter and is being implemented. He also disclosed that they had a "very good" meeting with the director of the CIA on this respect.

"The last pending issue is the agreement on compensation and during the meetings with the various interlocutors, we mentioned that we are also victims of the former, but ultimately the issue remains a state responsibility that we must adhere to (under the international law)".

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He added the negotiations focus on two issues first the amount of the compensation be reasonable for the impoverished country, the second is to protect Sudan from future lawsuits.

He said that the negotiating team has succeeded to reduce a court ruling from $11 billion to hundreds of millions and the negotiations are still continuing to achieve a final settlement.

US court issued various rulings against the Sudanese government for its support of the terrorist bombings of the naval destroyer USS Cole in October 2000 and the US embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 1998.

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Sudan has to pay over $300 million only for the victims of the attack on USS Cole and $2.1 billion in damages to American families of victims of the 1998 bombings.

The SST lifting is a key step for the Sudanese transitional before to draw foreign investments and engage in talks with the international financial institutions on debt relief and borrow money.

(ST)

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