US Embassy says Sudan no longer on list of terror sponsors

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FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump talks on a phone call with the leaders of Sudan and Israel, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, and National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, applaud in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington. The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum said the administration removed Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move that could help the African country get international loans to revive its battered economy and end its pariah status. The embassy said in a Facebook post that the removal of Sudan from the list is effective as of Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Delisting Sudan from the state sponsors blacklist is a key incentive for the Sudanese government to normalize relations with Israel. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

CAIRO – The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum said Monday that President Donald Trump's administration has removed Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move that could help the African country get international loans to revive its battered economy and end its pariah status.

According to a Facebook post by the embassy, Sudan's removal was effective as of Monday. A notification to that effect, signed by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, would be published in the Federal Register, it said, adding that the 45-day congressional notification period has lapsed.

“This achievement comes with numerous opportunities for Sudan’s development,” tweeted Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, adding that his country “officially” rejoined the international community as a “peaceful nation supporting global stability” after nearly three-decade of isolation.

Pompeo said in a statement that the removal came after Sudan’s transitional government met “the statutory and policy criteria" and charted a “bold new course away from the legacy” of former autocratic President Omar al-Bashir. Delisting Sudan “represents a fundamental change in our bilateral relationship toward greater collaboration,” he said.

Sudan is on a fragile transition to democracy following an uprising that led to the military’s ouster of al-Bashir in April 2019. The county is now ruled by a joint military and civilian government that seeks better ties with Washington and the West.

The removal of the terror designation opens the door for the transitional government to get international loans and aid and rescue its transition to democracy. Sudan’s economy has suffered from decades of U.S. sanctions and mismanagement under al-Bashir, who had ruled the country since a 1989 Islamist-backed military coup.

Sudan today has more than $60 billion in foreign debt, and debt relief and access to foreign loans are widely seen as its gateway to economic recovery.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his agency would work with Congress and the transitional government in Khartoum to advance Sudan’s efforts to secure debt relief in 2021.