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‘Restrictions on Sudan banks removed’: US Treasury Dept.

May 1 - 2018 KHARTOUM
US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea met with Sudan’s Minister of Defence, Awad Mohamed Ahmed bin Oaf in Khartoum on 30 April 2018 (SUNA)
US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea met with Sudan’s Minister of Defence, Awad Mohamed Ahmed bin Oaf in Khartoum on 30 April 2018 (SUNA)

The United States Department of Treasury has called on the Sudanese government to make more progress on improving human rights and religious freedoms, in order to build a sustaining relationship with the USA.

US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea met with Sudan’s Minister of Defence, Awad bin Auf in Khartoum on Monday, according to the official Sudanese News Agency (Suna). US Charge d’Affaires to Sudan, Steven Koutsis was also present.

Billingslea pointed out that the US has informed countries of the region that restrictions on Sudanese banks have been lifted, saying the visit aims to send a message that Washington is ready to move forward to normalise its ties with Khartoum. “We have sent a message to the Gulf countries and the region,” he said.

The defence minister affirmed Sudan’s commitment to the United Nations resolutions on North Korea, and its commitment to combating terrorism, as part of its obligations to the international community.

The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reiterated Sudan’s firm stance and its full commitment to enforce all UN Security Council resolutions on the sanctions imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Yesterday the ministry issued a press statement explaing that there are no dealings with the DPRK.

Also on Monday, a delegation of the World Commission for American Religious Freedom held talks with officials of the National Commission for Human Rights and the Sudanese Ministry of Guidance and Endowments in Khartoum. The meeting discussed the human rights situation in Sudan and the status of various religious communities, in addition to the freedom of worship and belief.

Sanctions

In October last year, the administration of President Donald Trump lifted two-decades-old economic sanctions on Khartoum “in recognition of the Government of Sudan's sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, improve humanitarian access throughout Sudan, and maintain cooperation with the US on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism”.

The US State Department noted that any further normalisation in the bilateral relations with Khartoum requires “continued progress” by the Sudanese government.

The US decision did not include the removal of Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism -to which it was added in 1993- which means that restrictions on debt relief, receiving foreign aid, or the sale of arms are still in place.


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