Sudan expects U.S. to lift sanctions, conditions met: state minister

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan expects the United States to lift economic sanctions as Khartoum has met all the required conditions, a Sudanese minister said on Wednesday, days before Washington is due to announce a decision.

The U.S. government has said it is deciding whether to lift a raft of penalties imposed first over Khartoum’s perceived support of global terrorism, later its violent suppression of rebels in Darfur.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama temporarily eased some of the sanctions that have effectively cut Khartoum off from large parts of the global financial system. Officials said the gesture was meant to recognize Khartoum’s moves to end conflicts and its help in the war on terrorism.

In July, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration postponed for three months a decision on whether to remove the restrictions full-time - giving it an Oct. 12 deadline to make up its mind.

“Sudan has fulfilled all the necessary conditions relating to the roadmap and the U.S. administration is a witness to that and therefore we expect the sanctions to be lifted,” Sudan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hamed Momtaz, told Reuters.

Washington has said Sudan needs to resolve its internal conflicts and let more aid into Darfur and other rebellious border areas, among other conditions.

Some rights groups have raised concerns, saying the lifting of sanctions could lead to further abuses.

“We’re afraid lifting the sanctions could pave way for the government to ... violate rights,” said Al-Buraq al-Nazir al-Warraq, the executive manager of the Sudanese Observatory for Human Rights, a group suspended by the government.

Any lifting of economic penalties would be a major turnaround for the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who once played host to Osama bin Laden and is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of orchestrating genocide in Darfur.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Arwa Gaballa; Editing by Andrew Heavens