Monday 23 October 2017

Sudan vows to normalise ties with US as travel ban lifted

Sudan vows to normalise ties with US as travel ban lifted
(AFP (eng) 09/25/17)

Sudan vowed Monday to step up efforts to normalise relations with the United States after Washington dropped the country from a list of countries facing a US travel ban.

President Donald Trump decided to remove Sudan from the list just days ahead of an October 12 decision on whether to permanently lift decades-old US sanctions on Khartoum.

The decision was "a positive development in the two countries' bilateral relations", the Sudanese foreign ministry said in a statement.

It was a result of a "clear and long dialogue" and growing cooperation between the two countries in regional and international issues, the ministry said.

"The government of Sudan will carry out more efforts to remove all obstacles to a full normalisation of relations with the American administration," it said.

Sudan was one of six Muslim-majority countries on the original list, and Trump on Sunday ordered it to be dropped as he issued a new list under which eight nations now have complete or partial blocks on travel to the United States.

The list now comprises North Korea, Chad, Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Sudan said it will monitor travellers heading to the United States from its airports.

"Sudanese authorities are professional and qualified enough to monitor who is travelling through Sudanese airports," the ministry said.

The US has recently praised Sudan's efforts in fighting terrorism, and Trump is due to decide whether to permanently lift sanctions imposed on Khartoum in 1997 for its alleged support of Islamist militant groups.

"I consider Trump's move a good one, especially for the Sudanese people who have suffered under the unilateral sanctions imposed on them," said Abdel Moneim Hassan Ali, a Khartoum resident.

"Truly I believe the sanctions will be lifted."

Several US officials have said Sudan has made progress on conditions imposed by Washington for a permanent lifting of the embargo.

They include greater access to war zones for humanitarian workers, counter-terrorism cooperation, an end to hostilities against armed groups, and a halt to support for insurgents in neighbouring South Sudan.

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