KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan said on Thursday it had reached agreement with the United States on a second phase of talks aimed at removing it from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Washington lifted 20-year-old trade sanctions on Sudan a year ago, but economists say foreign investors and banks are put off by the continued U.S. designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, alongside Iran, North Korea and Syria.
“Sudan welcomes the launch of the second phase of strategic talks between the two parties ... especially after the success of the first round of talks which led to the lifting of economic sanctions,” Sudan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Sudan’s continued listing as a state sponsor of terrorism makes it ineligible for badly needed debt relief and financing from lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Washington wanted Sudan to make further progress on human rights, religious and press freedoms, improving humanitarian access and expanding counter-terrorism cooperation.
Sudan’s economy has been struggling since the south of the country seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of its oil output.
Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Gareth Jones