Sudan: Pompeo Calls PM Hamdok About Removing Sudan From U.S. Terror List

Khartoum / Washington DC / Riyadh — Yesterday, Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok received a phone call from the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, reiterating importance of Sudan-US bilateral relations and the country's removal from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Hamdok also received a call from Saudi Foreign Minister concerning economic recovery and stability in Sudan.

Hamdok tweeted "Delighted to receive a phone call from Mike Pompeo today to discuss further progress in delisting Sudan from the sponsors of terrorism list."

He also said he is "looking forward to the continued support of the US administration to Sudan's transitional government."

Pompeo has repeatedly indicated that the State Department hopes to remove the designation, which severely impedes investment to Sudan, but disputes have arisen on a compensation package over the 1998 bombings* of two US embassies.

Saudi foreign minister

Hamdok also received a phone call from Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, yesterday. They discussed the necessity for reactivating the Joint Economic Committee, working towards making a success of the transitional period, maintaining security in the Red Sea region, and development of means for investment between the two countries.

The two sides reviewed plans for the Friends of Sudan group** meeting scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia on 12 August.

Diplomatic relations

Hamdok said on 28 May that Sudan's foreign policy is based on specific strategic pillars, and thus his government is seeking in this regard to create strategic relationships with South Sudan as a neighbouring country. Also, he stated the relationship between Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia would be based on mutual interests. He further described Sudan's relationship with Saudi Arabia and the UAE as good.

Hamdok added that because of the deposed regime's foreign policies Sudan has been a pariah in the international community. He clarified that despite progress in Sudan's foreign policy now, there would be no significant change unless Sudan has been removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

He explained that their previous request regarding the UN Peace Mission under chapter VI was based on assisting the transitional government to achieve its objective with respect to the issues concerning the peace process and development issues. The proposed mission would help Sudan in terms of covering the cost of the implementation of the potential peace agreement and addressing the issues of refugees and displaced people.

The proposed mission will include the entire country instead of a specific region as before. He admitted that the peace mission requires further explanation for the public so that there will not be misleading information about it.

* As reported by Radio Dabanga in June, according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an agreement with the Sudanese government on the victims of the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, would be reached in the coming weeks.

"We are working on a positive solution for Sudan's new leadership and the Sudanese people," Pompeo told the US-backed Al Hurra news station in an interview on Wednesday.

After talking with Hamdok earlier that day, the US official expressed hope that the two parties will achieve a "satisfactory results" within weeks.

He could not give more details. "My team on the ground is working closely with the Sudanese leadership to try to reach a good result, and I hope that this will be achieved in the coming weeks," he said.

The Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported at the time that Minister of Foreign Affairs Asmaa Abdallah earlier announced that Khartoum is close to an agreement with Washington regarding the compensation for the victims of the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that took place in the summer of 1998.

In February, the transitional government of Sudan paid out a settlement of $70 million to the families of the victims of the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen in an effort to persuade the USA to remove Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, considered essential to the country's economic recovery.

** The Friends of Sudan group includes African Development Bank, Canada, Egypt, European Union, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, The Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States, and the World Bank.

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