WASHINGTON (AGENCIES) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has signed a notification, removing Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, the decision enters into force starting Monday, the US embassy in Khartoum said.
“The congressional notification period of 45 days has lapsed and the Secretary of State has signed a notification stating rescission of Sudan’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation is effective as of today (14 December), to be published in the Federal Register,” the embassy wrote on its Facebook page.
In late October, US President Donald Trump formally notified the Congress that his administration would take Sudan off its list of terror sponsors after Khartoum paid $335 million to US terrorism victims and their families. The removal is believed to be a part of the US ongoing policy to normalize ties between Israel and the Arab world. In September, Khartoum and Washington reached a deal on the matter, although none of the official parties confirmed the link between Sudan’s de-blacklisting and the normalization of relations with Israel.
The African nation was blacklisted back in 1993 for sheltering Osama bin Laden for nearly five years at a time when the Al-Qaeda* terror group leader was involved in attacks on targets in the United States.
Four year 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 achieved in August 2019, when new Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok announced the start of negotiations with Washington on removing Khartoum from the blacklist. The improvement of ties occurred after Sudan established the Sovereign Council, officially dissolving the Transitional Military Council, which came to power after former President Omar Bashir was overthrown in April.
In March 2020, the Central Bank of Sudan said that the US had briefed it on lifting all of the economic restrictions except for a few Darfur-related sanctions.
In late October, Sudan and Israel reached an agreement to establish full diplomatic relations between the two nations.