AUDIO ASSISTED READING
- Trump: “GREAT news! New government of Sudan agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.”
- Sudan was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 when Washington believed Omar al-Bashir was supporting militant groups.
- Once a state is on the list, it makes it difficult for its government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.
President Donald Trump announced on Monday the United States would remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism as soon as Khartoum sets aside the $335 million (Sh36.4 billion) it has agreed to pay to American victims of militant attacks and their families.
The deal could also set in motion steps by Sudan toward establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, a U.S. official told Reuters, following similar U.S.-brokered moves by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The details were still being worked out, the source said.
Although Trump made no mention of Israel in his tweet announcing the breakthrough with Sudan, rapprochement between Israel and another Arab country would give Trump a new diplomatic achievement as he seeks re-election on Nov. 3.
Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates to its toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir and makes it difficult for its transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.
Many in Sudan say the designation, imposed in 1993 because Washington believed Bashir was supporting militant groups, has become outdated since he was removed last year and Sudan has long cooperated on counterterrorism.
U.S.-Sudanese negotiations have focused on funds that Washington wants Khartoum to deposit in escrow to be paid for victims of al Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, U.S. government sources said.
“GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families,” Trump tweeted. “Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.”
A Sudanese government source said Khartoum was ready to pay compensation to U.S. Embassy bombing victims.