Source: Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

November 19, 2019 (WASHINGTON) - The United States is in the midst of the process of lifting Sudan from the list State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST), said the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs on Tuesday.

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Tibor P. Nagy, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs (Photo State Deprt)

"We are in the midst of it," said Tibor Nagy when he was pressed to explain what kind of progress they have made on Sudan's rescission from the SST by Congresswoman Karen Bass Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa.

"We are moving as expeditiously as we possibly can," he further emphasized before to allude that he can give more details to the chair of the subcommittee on Africa in a private meeting.

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Nagy's position on the SST lifting process wavered between seeking to be ascertained that the military would not hamper the transition in Sudan and insisting on the need to conduct a number of steps stipulated by the process. Also, he had spoken about the need to modify congressional acts banning support to Sudan.

In all the cases, there is a feeling that Washington is not fully determined to take Sudan out of the blacklist for some reasons. Also, all the explanations lead to understanding that the State Department officials seek to get more time before to take the decision.

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However, in his presentation of the U.S. budget for Africa in 2020, Nagy cited Sudan as one of the countries they plan to support.

"We aim to contribute to Sudan's transitional government efforts to establish a civilian government," he said.

In his responses to Bass, he said they "will do anything possible to support the transition in Sudan".

African Union, Arab League and European Union called on the United States to end Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

During a meeting of Friend of Sudan in Washington on 21 October, several countries expressed willingness to support Sudan but they underscored the need to remove the SST's designation.

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Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said recently he was invited to visit Washington next December to discuss the sanctions.

Observers in Khartoum agree that Washington's position on the removal of the SST weakened Hamdok's government which counts on the support of the international financial institutions to fund its reforms.

The SST's removal is a prerequisite for any concrete involvement from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the funding of the reforms and development projects of the transitional government.

It is also needed for the costly debt relief.

(ST)

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