Saudi efforts lift US sanctions on Sudan

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Saudi Arabia has succeeded in persuading the US administration to lift economic sanctions imposed on Sudan.

A US official said on Friday, that the United States has lifted 20-year economic sanctions on Sudan, attributing it to improvements in human rights and counter-terrorism acts.

The official added that Sudan would remain on America's list of states sponsoring terrorism and that some of the sanctions on Darfur would remain.

Lifting the sanctions on Sudan is part of a process begun by former President Barack Obama at the end of his term and was opposed by human rights groups.

US President Donald Trump lifted an American trade embargo and other punitive measures that effectively separated Sudan from most of the world's financial system.

On January 13, Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir thanked Saudi King Salman and expressed his gratitude for the efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia to lift the sanctions in a telephone call.

This took place when President Barack Obama announced lifting some of the economic sanctions imposed on Sudan, citing "positive" developments by the country over the past six months.

The Sudanese government welcomed the move, saying it was an important positive development encouraging bilateral relations between the Sudan and the United States of America.

In a letter to Congress published by the White House, Obama noted a marked decline in military activity culminating in a commitment to maintain a cessation of hostilities and in efforts to improve the work of humanitarian organizations in the country.

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He also referred to Khartoum's cooperation with Washington in dealing with regional conflicts and the terrorist threat.

The US resolution stipulated the abolition of Executive Orders No. 13067 of October 16, 1997 under President Bill Clinton and Resolution 13412 of October 17, 2006 under President George W. Bush, under which economic sanctions were imposed on Sudan.

However, the partial lifting of sanctions did not remove Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism.

The decision will allow bank transfers between the two countries and resuming trade exchange between the Sudan and the United States.

The White House statement said lifting the sanctions would be postponed for six months to encourage the Sudanese government to maintain its human rights and counter-terrorism efforts.

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