In this Nov 15, 2016 file photo, students line up outside a classroom with a map of Africa on its wall, in Yei, in southern South Sudan. (JUSTIN LYNCH / AP)
WASHINGTON - The US government lifted the two-decade-long sanctions on Sudan on Friday, recognizing its "sustained positive actions" to counter terrorism and improve humanitarian distress.
"The government of Sudan's actions during the last nine months show that it is serious about cooperation with the United States and has taken significant steps to stop conflict and improve humanitarian access within Sudan," said US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert in a statement.
The revocation of the sanctions followed the "sustained positive actions" of the government of Sudan, Nauert added.
Meanwhile, Sudan will remain on the US list of "state sponsors of terrorism."
Sudan government welcomed the US’ decision to permanently lift the economic sanctions.
"Sudanese leadership, government and people welcome the positive decision made by the US President Donald Trump on Friday to permanently lift the economic sanctions on Sudan," said Sudan's Foreign Ministry in a statement.
In the meantime, the Sudanese government urged the United States to remove Sudan from its list of countries sponsoring terrorism
"Sudan regards it as a positive development in the history of the Sudanese-US relations and a natural outcome of a frank, transparent and constructive dialogue that reviewed all concerns between the two countries," it added.
The statement reiterated that Sudan would continue cooperation with the US in all the issues of mutual concern, namely in relation to preserving international peace and security and combating all forms of terrorism, illegal immigration and human trafficking.
In the meantime, the Sudanese government urged the United States to remove Sudan from its list of countries sponsoring terrorism.
"Sudan is looking forward to building natural and progressive ties with the United States, but this necessitates removing Sudan's name from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism," said the statement.
It also called for cancellation of the negative procedures taken by US institutions against Sudan, urging the US administration to take positive measures that enable Sudan to make use of debts exemptions similar to cases of many countries with similar development situations.
The relief of the sanctions, which were first imposed on Khartoum in 1997, has been eagerly anticipated by Sudan since US President Barack Obama temporarily eased penalties against the east African nation before leaving office.
Under the directive signed by Obama in January, the United States moved to lift a trade embargo and unblock Sudanese government assets that were frozen in earlier sanctions.
In July, the Trump administration decided to extend the review period by three months to determine whether to permanently lift trade sanctions against Sudan.
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