WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that he has informed Congress of his intent to formally remove Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in exchange for the African nation transferring $335 million into an escrow account for American terror victims and their families.
The move would open the door for the African country to get international loans and aid needed to revive its battered economy and rescue the country’s transition to democracy. The announcement, less than two weeks before the U.S. presidential election, also comes as the Trump administration works to get other Arab countries, such as Sudan, to join the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain’s recent recognition of Israel.
Delisting Sudan from the list is a key incentive for the Sudanese government to normalize relations with Israel. Trump’s announcement came after Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin traveled to Bahrain to cement the Gulf state’s recognition of the Jewish state.
Sudan has agreed to pay compensation for victims of terror attacks, including the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The attacks were conducted by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network while bin Laden was living in Sudan.
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok thanked Trump for signing the executive order to remove Sudan from the terrorism list and said he hoped to conclude the process in a “timely manner.”