Sudan: U.S., Sudan Sign Economic Aid Agreement

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Sudan Wednesday on a one-day visit in which he held talks with leaders and discussed economic assistance.

His historic visit to Sudan, following removal of the country from a list of states sponsoring terrorism, came as part of his Middle East tour.

Mnuchin met General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, President of the Council of Sovereignty, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and other officials, after which he signed a financing deal.

The Sudanese Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning signed a memorandum of understanding with the US Treasury Department in which the US will provide money to pay Sudan's arrears to the World Bank. This will enable Sudan to receive more than $1 billion annually from the World Bank for the first time in 27 years.

The agreement was signed in Khartoum by Mnuchin and Sudan's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Heba Mohammed Ali.

The restoration of international financial institutions is an achievement for the transitional government and an important step on the country's path towards debt relief and grants to finance major infrastructure and other development projects throughout Sudan.

International funding will provide central support for economic stability in conjunction with reforms implemented by the transitional government, which seek to address structural distortions in the economy, promote growth, encourage investment and build a prosperous economy for all Sudanese, especially young people, women and communities affected by war and marginalization.

The declaration of the "Abraham Agreements" was also signed, in which the Sudanese side was represented by the Minister of Justice, Dr Nasreddin Abdel-Bari, while Mnuchin signed on the American side.

The declaration stipulates the need to consolidate the meanings of tolerance, dialogue and coexistence between different peoples and religions in the Middle East region and the world, in a way that serves the promotion of peace.

During a meeting with Hamdok, the Prime Minister praised the US for removing Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and restoring its sovereign immunity.

Dr Hamdok said on his Twitter account on Wednesday, "Today I welcomed Steven Mnuchin as the 1st sitting Secretary to visit Sudan. His visit comes at a time when our bilateral relations are taking historical leaps towards a better future. We're planning to make tangible strides today as our relations enter a new era."

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