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SudanTribune.com: Debt arrears prevent Sudan from international financial support, not terror list: U.S. Nagy

Posted by: Berhane.Habtemariam59@web.de

Date: Tuesday, 28 January 2020


January 28, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - What hinders Sudan’s access to international financial support and loans is the heavy external debt arrears, not its designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST), said Tibor Nagy U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs.

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Tibor P. Nagy, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs (Photo State Deprt)

On Monday, Nagy discussed the SST issue with Sudanese Foreign Minister Asma Abdallah in Khartoum as he is concluding an African tour to the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Sudan from January 15-29, 2020.

Speaking from Khartoum in a telephonic press briefing on Monday, Nagy had to explain several times his government policy towards Sudan and the ongoing process on Sudan’s removal from the blacklist.

The US top diplomat repeated that le removal is a process requiring to deal with many issues in reference to the sanctions on Darfur and financial compensations for victims of terror attacks which have reached over seven billion.

"We are talking about (that) more than SST. Sudan is a partner," he said before to add ’"Negotiations are ongoing but I am optimistic".

"There are thorny issues. We want a successful Sudan but I can’t go into technical issues but we are working it. I wish we can give a time frame,"

Later, he had to speak again about the SST role in Sudan incapacity to deal with financial international institutions (IFI), he said that following the lift of economic embargo on Sudan in 2017 Sudan can freely deal with these institutions.

"There are a number of other criteria; for instance, Sudan has considerable arrears to international financial institutions which prevent those international financial institutions from making additional loans or grants to Sudan, so that’s one of the problems," he added.

"So the issue is, number one, reputational; number two, it is the arrears that Sudan has built up that will need to be negotiated in the future," he stressed.

The U.S. senior diplomat further pointed out that U.S. laws order its representatives at the World Bank & IMF to vote against any loans or debt relief to countries on its list of states that sponsor terrorism.

"The SST really refers much more to how the United States is obligated to respond to Sudan’s request for broad projects and programs in international financial institutions," he said.

Friends of Sudan group members recently said they are willing to write off their loans to Sudan but the U.S. veto prevent them from doing so.

They further asked Trump administration to remove Sudan from the SST list to enable them to invest in the improvised country in order to support the democratic transition that Washington asked for.

On 14 January, U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale urged Sudan to pay financial compensations to family members of people killed or injured in terrorist attacks.

"The Under Secretary underscored that compensation for the victims of terrorism remains a priority for the U.S. government," said the State Department in a statement after the meeting.

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