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Sudan hails end of US trade embargo as ‘positive decision’

Khartoum, Sudan | AFP | Sudan on Friday welcomed the US decision to end its 20-year trade embargo against Khartoum as a “positive decision”.

Earlier Friday, Washington announced it was ending the embargo, citing improvements made by Sudan in its human rights record.

“The leaders of Sudan, the government of Sudan and the people of Sudan welcome the positive decision taken by American President Donald Trump of removing the economic sanctions completely,” the official SUNA news agency quoted a statement issued by the foreign ministry.

The US decision came after months of diplomatic talks between the two countries that began during the tenure of former US president Barack Obama.

The lifting of sanctions is “in recognition of the Government of Sudan’s sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

And she cited what she said was Khartoum’s sustained commitment to “improve humanitarian access throughout Sudan and maintain cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism.”

Washington had imposed the sanctions in 1997 over Khartoum’s alleged support to Islamist militant groups. Now slain Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan between 1992 to 1996.

Following a significant improvement in relations, Obama eased the sanctions in January before leaving office with a view to lifting them completely after a six month review.

But in July, Trump extended the review period to October 12. On Friday his administration decided to lift the embargo permanently.

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