Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry on Sunday said it is working on removing Sudan from the United States list of state sponsors of terrorism, reported Africa News.
The announcement follows an official visit of a Sudanese delegation, including new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, to Riyadh. Prime Minister Hamdok and Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s transitional sovereign council, met with King Salman in Riyadh.
“The kingdom is working on: removing Sudan from the US terrorism list,” the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement on Twitter.
The tweet said that Saudi Arabia is also working on initiating investments in Sudan and improving existing projects. It added that Sudan was seeking Saudi support in international forums and wanted to provide an environment for investment and expand its agricultural sector.
Washington listed Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism back in 1993, over allegations that former president Omar al-Bashir’s government was supporting terrorism. A transitional government was formed in August after months of mass protests that led to the military ousting long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.
Last month, Prime Minister Hamdok said he had useful talks with U.S. officials on the topic and expressed hope that an agreement could be reached soon.
A senior U.S. official said in August that Washington would test the commitment of Sudan’s new transitional government to human rights, freedom of speech and humanitarian access before it decided on removing the country name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Notably, the terrorism sponsor country tag makes Sudan ineligible for desperately needed debt relief and financing from lenders like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Removal from the list would potentially open the door for foreign investment.