Tibor Nagy, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, speaks during a news conference on the case of Sudan, in the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States no longer has an adversarial relationship with the Sudanese government and is working with its counterparts on the possibility of removing it from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, a senior State Department official said on Friday.
But Tibor Nagy, assistant secretary for African affairs, cautioned that doing so was a process with conditions.
“It’s not an event, it’s not flipping a light switch. It’s a process and we are heavily, continuously engaged with our Sudanese interlocutors on how we can go about doing that,” he told reporters in a briefing.
Asked if the United States was committing to lifting sanctions, Nagy said “No” but added: “There are conditions to such an event. Everybody is hoping that it will happen, everybody is hoping that it happens as quickly as possible, we all understand the hardships that it is causing, he said.
The U.S. government added Sudan to its list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1993 over allegations that then-President Omar al-Bashir’s Islamist government was supporting terrorist groups. The designation makes Sudan technically ineligible for debt relief and financing from the IMF and World Bank. Congress needs to approve a removal.
Months of demonstrations over price hikes for fuel and bread and cash shortages led to an uprising against Bashir, who was toppled by the military in April. A civilian transitional government was formed in August and it agreed with the United States that it could start engaging with international institutions while still on a list of countries deemed sponsors of terrorism.
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Daniel Wallis