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US lifting sanctions on Sudan after two decades of embargo

gabriel__bostan/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration is lifting sanctions on Sudan after the African country met progress requirements on the five-track negotiations that began under President Barack Obama.

The negotiations required Sudan to cease internal hostilities, improve humanitarian access throughout the country, end destabilizing activity in neighboring South Sudan, build and deepen cooperation with the U.S. on counterterrorism, and improving regional security.

President Trump issued a pair of Executive Orders that the State Department says came after "the Government of Sudan's sustained positive actions." The revocation of sanctions go into effect on October 12.

According to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, "the Government of Sudan's actions during the last nine months show that it is serious about cooperating with the United States and has taken significant steps to stop conflict and improve humanitarian access within Sudan, and to promote regional stability."

"However, much more progress is needed to fully and sustainably achieve peace in Sudan," Nauert adds.

The U.S. intends to continue to improve bilateral relations with Sudan. The State Department statement notes that "further normalization of ties will require continued progress by the Government of Sudan," and threatens to apply pressure if the Sudanese government regresses in any of the five areas.

The sanctions revoked on Friday were implemented by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and President George W. Bush in 2006.

Sudan will remain on the list of state sponsors of terrorism (along with Syria and Iran), as that was not part of this review. In addition, separate sanctions for the Darfur crisis will remain in place – as the U.S. still seeks to hold those responsible for crimes in Darfur to account and find justice for the victims, one senior administration official said.

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