Khartoum – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has suspended for a period of three months negotiations with the United States over economic sanctions.
A statement published by Sudan’s state news agency on Wednesday said that Al-Bashir has issued a republican decree “freezing the work of the negotiation committee with the United States of America until Oct. 12, 2017.”
The announcement came a day after US President Donald Trump decided to delay a decision to lift sanctions that have been imposed on Khartoum since 1997.
In a statement, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Sudan has made progress in improving humanitarian access, cooperating with the US on counter-terrorism and preserving a cease-fire in conflict areas. However, she added the administration needed more time to review the situation and determine whether it was appropriate to lift the sanctions.
“We regret the issuing of this decision, which came after a long period of dialogue and interaction with the US,” Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said in a statement.
“European countries, regional and international institutions and some American institutions have recognized that Sudan has fulfilled the five-track plan in whole and this has been confirmed in technical meetings with the American side,” he added, referring to the list of US demands.
Just before leaving office in January, former President Barack Obama issued an executive order lifting sanctions against Sudan on a probationary basis. While temporary sanctions relief took effect immediately, and was to become permanent on Wednesday, Trump, in a new executive order issued later Tuesday, delayed the deadline by three months.
In order to permanently lift the sanctions, the US has required Sudan to comply with five demands, which include resolving internal military conflicts in areas such as war-torn Darfur, cooperating on counter-terrorism and improving access to humanitarian aid.