US ready to remove Sudan from terrorism sponsor list

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Rapid Support Forces display disarmed weapons during Sudanese President’s Omar al-Bashir visit to the war-torn Darfur region at Rapid Support Forces Headquarter in Umm Al-Qura. In removing Sudan from the terrorism sponsor list, the US hopes to make the US-Sudan relationship more productive. Reuters

KHARTOUM (Xinhua) – The United States has reiterated readiness to begin process of removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“The United States is prepared to initiate the process of rescinding Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism – if the determination is made that all of the relevant statutory criteria have been met, and if Sudan makes progress in addressing each of the six key areas of mutual concern prioritised by the Phase II framework,” US Charge d’Affaires Steven Koutsis said at a press conference here.

The United States has therefore launched the “Phase II” framework, which is designed to expand cooperation, facilitate meaningful reforms in Sudan, and achieve further progress in a number of areas of longstanding mutual concern, he said.

He added that the United States remains committed to positive engagement with Sudan and to achieving their shared goals on the basis of mutual understanding and respect.

The United States believes that Phase II has the potential to make the US-Sudan relationship more productive than it has been over the past 30 years, Mr Koutsis said.

Phase II includes expanding counter-terrorism cooperation, enhancing human rights protections and practices, improving humanitarian access throughout Sudan, ceasing internal hostilities to create a conducive environment for progress in Sudan’s peace process, taking necessary steps to address certain outstanding terrorism-related claims and adhering to the UN Security Council resolutions related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The first phase of the strategic dialogue between Khartoum and Washington, the “Five-track Plan”, culminated with the lift of the US economic sanctions on Sudan.

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