Sudan’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that Khartoum and Washington have agreed to launch the second phase of strategic talks aimed at removing Sudan from the United States’ state sponsors of terrorism list.
The U.S. lifted 20-year-old trade sanctions on Sudan a year ago, but economists say foreign investors and banks are put off by Sudan’s continued designation by Washington as a state sponsor of terrorism, alongside Iran, North Korea and Syria.
“Sudan welcomes the launch of the second phase of strategic talks between the two parties especially after the success of the first round of talks which led to the lifting of economic sanctions,” Sudan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Washington wanted Sudan to make further progress on human rights, religious and press freedoms, improving humanitarian access and expanding counter-terrorism cooperation.
Sudan’s continued listing as a state sponsor of terrorism makes it ineligible for badly needed debt relief and financing from lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Sudan has about $50 billion of external debt but is not able to access debt relief while it remains on the U.S. list.