Sudan lifts partial ban on Egyptian imports: president

FILE PHOTO: Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir addresses the nation during the 62nd Anniversary Independence Day at the Palace in Khartoum, Sudan December 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on Thursday he was lifting a partial ban on the import of Egyptian goods, during a visit by his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

In March 2017 Sudan banned the import of all Egyptian agricultural goods amid a range of disputes, including over land and accusations of political meddling.

Tensions have since eased, and Bashir backed Sisi’s re-election earlier this year.

“Today I signed a decision to lift the ban on the entry of Egyptian products to Sudan, to remove all obstacles to the movement of trade and people between the two countries,” Bashir told reporters. The decision had immediate effect, he said.

The value of Egyptian exports to Sudan stood at $550 million dollars last year, while Sudanese exports to Egypt stood at $103 million, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday.

Sudan’s economy has been mired in crisis despite the lifting of U.S. sanctions one year ago. It sharply devalued its currency earlier this month, part of a package of measures to tackle its economic troubles.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Jon Boyle