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Second round of talks to remove Sudan from US terror blacklist begin Open in fullscreen

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Second round of talks to remove Sudan from US terror blacklist begin

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 November, 2018

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Sudan's access to international financing and foreign investment have been severely limited by the state sponsor of terror designation.

Khartoum and Washington agreed to launch round two of strategic talks to remove Sudan from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, according to its foreign ministry.

Washington scrapped 20-year-old sanctions on Sudan last year, but foreign investment has not picked up due in large part to its continued designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. 

Thursday's announcement follows talks on Tuesday between US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed.

A State Department statement following the meeting earlier this week said the US was "prepared" to kickstart the process of removing Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The US also asked Sudan to move forward in resolving its myriad internal conflicts - including by giving better access to humanitarian workers.

Despite uneasy relations, Sudan has increasingly been seen as working with the US in key areas including containing the turbulence in neighbouring Libya.

Designation as a state sponsor of terrorism severely curtails access to international financing and makes it difficult for US citizens to do business with the countries.

The US placed Sudan on the list in 1993 when al-Qaeda and its chief Osama bin Laden found refuge in the country, whose longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir had embraced a hardline brand of political Islam.

After al-Qaeda blew up US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, Washington responded with a cruise missile strike inside Sudan on a pharmaceutical factory, whose link to al-Qaeda turned out to be shaky.

Only three other countries are on the blacklist - Iran, North Korea and Syria.

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