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MBS: Saudi Arabia trying to remove Sudan from US terror list

May 12, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud (R) meets Head of the Sudanese Transitional Military Council (TMC), Abdul Fattah al-Burhan (L) during an emergency Arab League Summit at Al Safa Palace in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on May 31, 2019 [Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout – Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has said that the kingdom will be continuing its efforts to have Sudan removed from the United States’ terror list in a phone call with the head of Sudan’s sovereign council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan yesterday.

The kingdom asked the US back in January to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, after its designation in 1993 over allegations that former President Omar Al-Bashir’s government was supporting terrorist groups.

The removal of its name from the list is highly significant for Sudan, as it would allow it to access debt relief and financial help from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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In order for a country to be removed from the US’s list, approval is required from Congress, which has long seemed unlikely with regards to Sudan’s case due to the tense relations between the two countries for over two decades during Al-Bashir’s rule.

Sudan made a step towards normalising ties with the US, however, when it appointed an ambassador to the States for the first time in almost 25 years last week. In December last year, Sudan also closed offices within the country belonging to the Lebanon-based Shia militia Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, in efforts to build ties with the US.

Saudi Arabia’s assistance to Sudan in attempting to have its name removed from the terror list is the latest in the two countries’ strong relations which have lasted throughout both Al-Bashir’s rule and after his overthrow by the Sudanese military last year.

In February, Al-Burhan announced that Israel is also working to try to remove Sudan from the US’ list, while in November last year the US addressed the issue by saying that the removal would take time.