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Egypt to push for Sudan’s removal from US terror list

September 10 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Picture: Egypt Foreign Ministry)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Picture: Egypt Foreign Ministry)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Monday that Cairo is exerting efforts to remove Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. Khartoum confirmed activating all joint committees between the two countries.

Shoukry, who is on a two-day visit to Sudan to strengthen ties between Cairo and the new transitional government of Sudan, made his remarks during a joint press conference with his Sudanese counterpart, Asmaa Abdallah, in Khartoum.

During his talks with Sudanese officials, the Egyptian Foreign Minister said that “Sudan remaining on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism is inconsistent with reality, especially after the change in Sudan”.

Shoukry explained that “Egypt looks forward to strengthening the historic and eternal relations with Sudan and is keen to provide all means of support to the Sudanese people”.

Will of the Sudanese people

He added that Egypt has affirmed since the beginning of developments in Sudan its keenness to respect the will of the Sudanese people.

He pointed out that his country seeks to “provide all means of support, and stand at the same distance from the various Sudanese parties”.

Minister Abdallah expressed Sudan’s keenness to strengthen relations between Sudan and Egypt in the interest of the two countries.

Prime Minister

The Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Ambassador Omar Manis, said that a meeting between Minister Shoukry and Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdouk touched on the overall cooperation relations between Khartoum and Cairo.

He pointed out that the visit is the first official visit of the Egyptian Foreign Minister to Sudan after the formation of the civilian government.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister also met with the Chairman of the Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan. During the meeting, El Burhan stressed on the solidity and timelessness of Sudanese-Egyptian relations and their development at all levels

Foreign Minister Abdallah said Sudan was waiting for moral support from Arab countries and welcomed any unconditional Arab financial support without interfering in its internal affairs.

The minister said in an interview with Al Jazeera that removing the name of Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism will be the first task of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, considering that this matter would open the door to an economic renaissance and new projects in Sudan.

US blacklist

There have been strong initiatives since the overthrow of the 30-year Al Bashir dictatorship to have Sudan’s name removed from the US blacklist. In his speech on the occasion of presenting his Cabinet last week, Hamdouk said: “A democratic Sudan is not a threat to anybody in the world. Of course, we understand this is a process. We are happy to talk to our friends and partners in the US government. We hope the Sudanese people will be rewarded by being dropped from the terrorism list. It is key to anything we can do to unlock this country, even to American investment.”

US position

During his visit to Khartoum last month, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs, David Hale affirmed that while “America is fully committed to helping Sudan transition to a civilian-led government that reflects the will of the people,” he cautioned that his country still needs to settle some issues with Sudan before considering removing it from the list of state sponsors of terrorism: “There are a number of things that we look forward to engaging with a civilian-led government in Sudan,” he said, adding that these included human rights, religious freedom, and counter-terrorism efforts, as well as “promoting internal peace, political stability and economic recovery in Sudan”

The United States will first test the commitment of Sudan’s new transitional government to human rights, freedom of speech, and humanitarian access before it agrees to remove the country from the US state sponsor of terrorism list, a senior State Department official confirmed in August.

The State Department official, speaking to reporters on background, said while Sudan’s new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdouk would be the main point of contact, US diplomats would also have to interact with General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commonly known as Hemeti, the outgoing deputy chief of the military council who heads the widely feared Rabid Support Forces (RSF) militia.

“Prime Minister Hamdouk has said all the right things so we look forward to engaging with him… This new government has shown a commitment so far. We are going to keep testing that commitment,” the official added.

Economists

Economists have called on Sudan’s transitional government to make efforts to remove Sudan’s name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, so that Sudan can take advantage of the initiative to relieve Sudan’s debt.

Sudan’s debt has exceeded $58 billion, according to the economists. The initiative to ease it aims to reform the health, education, and transportation sectors, dissolution of levy institutions, encouraging production in the next phase, development of an emergency plan that takes care of the daily needs of citizens and removing injustice from them.


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