The Sudanese Ministry of Finance and the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Khartoum yesterday morning to liquidate Sudan’s arrears to the World Bank and enable Sudan to obtain more than $1 billion. Secretary Mnuchin was paying a one-day visit to Sudan to discuss settling Sudan’s debt to the World Bank, the economic situation, financial transparency, and normalisation of ties with Israel.
Finance Minister Heba Mohamed explained in a press conference yesterday that the signing of the MoU comes within the framework of affirming the US commitment to support economic stability in Sudan and the success of the transitional period to achieve just peace and transformation.
The country will also be able to benefit from funding by the International Development Association (IDA) to finance major infrastructure projects and other development projects throughout Sudan.
The agreement will provide an emergency loan and financing facilities worth about $ 1.2 billion to settle Sudan’s arrears to the World Bank, which will enable Sudan to start the path of debt relief and benefit from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, or the so-called HIPC.
Minister Mohamed explained that this agreement contributes to reaching the decision point for the HIPC initiative, which will open the door to benefit from IDA grants and soft loans for a period of 35 years and a 10-year grace period of about $ 1.5 billion annually to finance major infrastructure projects and other development projects throughout Sudan.
The international financing will provide pivotal support for achieving economic stability in the country, in conjunction with the reforms the transitional government is working on, to address structural distortions in the economy, enhance growth and encourage investment, and build a prosperous economy for all Sudanese, especially youth, women and societies affected by the wars and major marginalisation, she said.
Sudan signed the Abraham Accords with the United States on Wednesday, by which Khartoum agreed to normalise its relations with Israel.
Justice Minister Nasreldin Abdelbari signed for Sudan while the United States was represented by the visiting Secretary of the US Treasury, Steven Mnuchin.
The Prime Minister’s Office commented that the best way to reach sustainable peace in the region and the world is through joint cooperation and dialogue between countries on any basis, whether ethnic, religious or otherwise.
In the first Israeli response, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi called Sudan’s signature “an important step in pushing forward the regional normalization agreements in the Middle East, and he added, “I hope that this agreement will soon achieve progress in dialogue and normalisation between Israel and Sudan, and promote the development of relations between our two countries.”
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