- The US will probably remove Sudan from the SST before end-December, owing to sustained progress in counter-terrorism co-operation and on regional security.
- Although President Bashir asked for Russia’s support against alleged “US aggressive acts” on 23 November, this is likely intended to provide counter-leverage in negotiations over Sudan’s delisting, and incentivise the US to accelerate the process to prevent the establishment of a Russian naval presence in the Red Sea.
- Although Sudan’s removal would simplify compliance processes for Western banks, related-party transactions would grow more slowly due to the continuing risks of money laundering and persistence of targeted sanctions.
Deputy Secretary of State John J Sullivan stated in a meeting in Khartoum on 16 November that the United States was willing to consider removing Sudan from the US State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) list, ahead of meetings that were scheduled between Sudanese and US officials in Washington, DC at the end of November.
The removal of general economic sanctions on 6 October followed the gradual normalisation of Sudan’s relations with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member states and the US. Sudan’s status as a state sponsor of terrorism was probably intended to encourage progress on regional security co-operation, particularly with South Sudan and Chad. Progress has accelerated over the last month. October’s sanctions removal also coincides with a prospective 45 days’ notice requirement for the US president to produce a report for Congress confirming that Sudan has ceased support for terrorist activities over the past six months. This report was already produced to support the removal of economic sanctions, suggesting that the ground work has already been established for Sudan’s removal from the SST.
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