USA lifts some of toughest economic sanctions on Sudan

President Donald Trump

Saudi Arabia has succeeded in persuading the United States administration to lift economic sanctions imposed on Sudan.

Lifting the sanctions on Sudan is part of a process begun by former President Barack Obama at the end of his term and was opposed by human rights groups.

"Ties between Sudan and USA date back to before Sudan's independence and we are looking forward to fully normalizing relations and we feel that the Americans are now having the same desire", the top diplomat said.

"Sudan regards it as a positive development in the history of the Sudanese-U.S. relations and a natural outcome of a frank, transparent and constructive dialogue that reviewed all concerns between the two countries", it added.

Though Sudan will remain, for now, on the USA list of state sponsors of terrorism, alongside Iran and Syria, and thus subject to other restrictive measures, the new decision reflects a U.S. assessment that the state has made progress in meeting Washington's demands, including cooperation on counter-terrorism, working to resolve internal conflicts and allowing more humanitarian aid into Darfur and other rebellious border areas.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir remains wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.

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Sudan has previously accused Egypt of opposing the lifting of United Nations sanctions on Sudan over the conflict in its western Darfur region. Officials in Sudan's capital city of Khartoum also agreed not to pursue an arms deals with North Korea, as the sanctions are lifted.

Shortly before leaving office, Obama temporarily eased penalties against the country.

The U.S. had worked to isolate Sudan since the military coup that brought al-Bashir to power in 1989. Last week the Trump administration removed Sudan from its controversial list of countries whose citizens travel to the United States is severely restricted.

Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the US State Department, said in a statement that the decision followed "a focused, 16-month diplomatic effort to make progress with Sudan".

The US state department announced its decision to revoke the penalising measures - in place since 1997 - on Friday. A further round of sanctions was put in place in 2006 in response to Sudanese forces' actions in the troubled Darfur region.

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