By Mohammed Amin
The United States will not relieve Sudan’s external debts until the country’s name is removed from the list of the countries that sponsor terrorism, Sudan’s Finance Minister Mohamed Osman Alriakbi said on Wednesday.
“I met with many officials in the Treasury and the U.S. State Department and we been told that the debt relief is conditional on the removal of Sudan’s name from the U.S. terrorism blacklist,” Alriakbi told reporters at Khartoum airport upon his arrival from annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington.
He added that he held a number of meetings with IMF and World Bank officials on reforming Sudan’s economy.
“One of the conditions for debt relief is to reach understandings with the IMF on economic reformation,” he explained.
Alrikabi also said dozens of U.S. companies have expressed their interest in investing in Sudan especially in minerals and agriculture.
“We held a large meeting with a number of U.S. companies and we agreed to organize a visit for them in November to come to Sudan and assess the opportunities for business in the country,” he added.
Sudan’s total external debts of $50 billion put it under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative by the World Bank and the IMF.
On Oct. 6, the Trump administration lifted long-standing economic sanctions on Sudan.
The 2016 U.S. report on terrorism admitted that Sudan has achieved some progress in combatting terrorism, but kept its name on the blacklist, where it has been since 1993.