Official: United States renews Sudan sanctions, begins talks with UN on lifting measures

The United States has issued a notice to maintain its UN sanctions on Sudan over Darfur but has begun talks with the UN on lifting the measures, United States official said.

The Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said this in a statement on Monday.

“In recognition of the important steps that the Sudanese government has taken toward peace in Sudan’s conflict areas, the United States is committed to working with the Sudanese government and our international partners.

“The United States and Sudan in collaboration with the international partners will work together to identify circumstances that could result in lifting sanctions related to the Darfur conflict at the earliest opportunity.

“We have already begun consultations at the UN with this objective in mind,” Pompeo said.

The White House earlier on Monday issued the notice to extend the national emergency that was declared in 1997 with respect to the Darfur conflict.

Pompeo explained that the notice maintains powers which Washington relies on to uphold its sanctions obligations under UN Security Council resolutions concerning the conflict in Darfur.

“However, it does not reflect negatively on our improved bilateral relationship with Sudan or on the performance of the civilian-led transitional government and does not have any impact on the decision or procedures to rescind Sudan’s State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) designation,” Pompeo said.

The top United States diplomat praised Sudan for the its progress toward peace and its decision to join the Abraham Accords with Israel.

“We recognise the significant improvements that the transitional government has made in advancing human rights and commend its efforts to bring peace to Darfur and Sudan’s other conflict areas,” he added.

Pompeo underscored that Washington is interested in building a strategic partnership with Sudan.

On Oct. 26, President Donald Trump formally notified Congress that his administration had rescinded Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism after Khartoum paid 335 million dollars to US terrorism victims and their families.

In September, Trump announced that Israel and Sudan had agreed to normalise relations in the latest step toward building peace in the Middle East.

Sudan was the third Arab country, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to join Trump’s Abraham Accords – a system of fresh peace deals with Israel – and the fifth to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, together with Egypt and Jordan.

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