06:42 GMT05 December 2020
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    KHARTOUM/CAIRO (Sputnik) – Sudanese Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din has stated that the removal of his country from the US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism is unrelated to other issues, including the possible establishment of ties with Israel.

    "The removal of Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism is not related to any other case", the foreign minister told a press conference in the capital of Khartoum, when asked if there was a link between the de-blacklisting and relations with Israel.

    According to Minister of Finance and Economy Hiba Mohammad Ali, the removal from the US blacklist will pave way for Sudan to cooperate with the US and western organizations to make financial transactions from abroad. However, the minister said that the lifting of US sanctions would not result in immediate significant changes to the country’s economy.

    "Sudan’s removal from the list of states sponsoring terrorism will save $1.7 billion annually if we carry out appropriate measures jointly with international entities and create a suitable environment for investors", Hiba Mohammad Ali added.

    The economy minister has noted that Sudan’s total external debt stands at $60 billion, with "around 80 percent of the amount are payment arrears".

    On 19 October, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would take Sudan off its State Sponsors of Terrorism list after Khartoum pays $335 million to US terrorism victims and their families. Along with that, media reports circulated over the internet suggesting that Trump's announcement came as part of his administration ongoing policy to normalize Israeli ties with the Arab countries, including Sudan.

    Sudan, which sheltered Osama bin Laden for nearly five years at a time when the Al-Qaeda* leader was involved in attacks on targets in the United States, was placed on the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list in 1993. Four years later, Washington imposed sanctions against Khartoum that limited the ability of Sudanese banks to work with foreign partners.

    A breakthrough in relations between the US and Sudan was reached in August 2019, as the sides began negotiations on removing the latter from the list of states supporting terrorism. The improvement was due to the fact that the African nation established the Sovereign Council, officially dissolving the Transitional Military Council, which came to power after former President Omar Bashir was overthrown in April.

    *Al-Qaeda is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Tags:
    terrorism, US, Sudan
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