Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Friday said he had talks with U.S. officials at the United Nations this week, and is hopeful that Khartoum could reach an agreement with Washington to remove its name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, reported Reuters.
Sudan has been on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993. It is on the list along with Syria, Iran and North Korea.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday, Hamdok hailed Sudan’s revolution that ousted long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir. He said Khartoum is looking to start a new era of respecting human rights and cooperating with the international community.
“The people of Sudan are seeking to start a new phase, different from the past three decades, reaching out to our neighbours and to the world,” he said. “We are committed to the principles of international human rights law in order to eliminate discrimination, exploitation, injustice and inequality.”
The prime minister said for the sanctions must be lifted in order to accelerate Sudan’s reconstruction and development efforts.
“Let me be clear, the Sudanese people have never been sponsors or supporters of terrorism. That was the former regime – which the people rebelled against – that supported terrorism,” Hamdok said.
He said the sanctions have caused tremendous suffering to the people of Sudan. He reiterated the call to the United States to remove Sudan from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism and to stop punishing the Sudanese people for crimes committed by the former regime. Notably, Sudan has so far been unable to tap the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for support due to the terrorism sponsor tag.
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed support for Sudan at an event held on the sidelines of the General Assembly. He called for lifting of all economic sanctions on Sudan, as well as its removal from the United States’ State Sponsors of Terrorism list.