[new friend of Israel] US revokes Sudan’s terror designation after 27 years

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in Khartoum (Office of Sudan's Prime Minister - AFP)

The National  /  December 14, 2020

Delisting follows revival of ties with Washington under new leadership in Khartoum.

The United States on Monday formally lifted Sudan’s designation as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, 27 years after putting the country on its blacklist, the US embassy in Khartoum announced.

“The Congressional notification period of 45 days has lapsed and the Secretary of State has signed a notification stating rescission of Sudan’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation is effective as of today (December 14), to be published in the Federal Register,” the US embassy said on Facebook.

President Donald Trump announced in October that he was delisting Sudan, a step desperately sought by the military-civilian government overseeing the country’s transition to democracy. The government designation severely impeded foreign investment needed to revive Sudan’s economy after nearly three decades of mismanagement under dictator Omar Al Bashir, who was toppled in April 2019.

To pave the way for the delisting, Sudan agreed to pay $335 million to compensate survivors and victims’ families from the twin 1998 attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by Al-Qaeda, carried out when Al Bashir was hosting the terror group, and a 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen’s coast.

Sudan’s transitional government also agreed to recognise Israel, a major goal for Mr Trump, although Khartoum has sought to downplay the connection.

Mr Trump sent his notice to Congress on October 26. Under US law a country exits the terror list after 45 days unless Congress objects, which it has not.

Sudan’s delisting will allow the country to be readmitted to the international banking system from which it was cut off as a result of the US sanctions, as well as to negotiate with creditors for relief or restructuring of its $60 billion foreign debt.