The US State Department announced on Friday that it has lifted a large number of sanctions that it had imposed on Sudan 20 years ago, saying the decision was the result of Khartoum’s cooperation in fighting terrorism and easing humanitarian distress.
“The lifting of sanctions is a very important step,” a State Department official told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. “But there is a long way ahead for Sudan to reach to where we aspire.”
“There is still too much work to be done,” the official said.
The next step is for the administration of President Donald Trump to notify the Congress about the decision so that it takes the necessary steps to lift the sanctions and suspend the trade and economic embargo and other penalties that the US had imposed on Sudan.
Senior administration officials said at a press conference they held at the State Department on Friday that Sudan continued to make progress in several fields including combating terrorism, improving human rights conditions and consolidating cessation of hostilities in areas of conflict.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the order would come into effect on October 12.
It came, she said, "in recognition of the Government of Sudan's sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan."
And she cited Sudan'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."
But the spokeswoman said much more progress is needed to fully and sustainably achieve peace in Sudan and to cooperate with the United States on a range of administration priorities, including further expanding humanitarian access, improving human rights practices, and ensuring that Sudan is committed to the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.
The lifting of sanctions came after efforts were exerted by Saudi Arabia with the US administration.
Sudan was added to the US list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1993. Last month, it was also placed on a list of states not doing enough to combat human trafficking.
The United States first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997, including a trade embargo and blocking government assets.