The Political Climate
Sudan and the United States enjoy a long history of friendship and cooperation. Though numerous instances to demonstrate this fact can be cited, perhaps most worth recalling is the humanitarian assistance the U.S. has in the past rendered during catastrophic periods of famine and drought in the country. Amongst the latest of such achievements is the peace the U.S. helped broker in 2005 that effectively ended the longest-running civil war in Africa. Sudan, for its part, has been instrumental in the U.S. war on terrorism, a contribution for which the latter has on numerous occasions expressed gratitude. These are but a few examples of fruitful interactions that characterize the cordial bilateral relations between the countries. Yet this legacy and potential for gainful cooperation is offset by the policies that the successive U.S. administrations have pursued towards Sudan.
President Trump’s inauguration ushered in a new US policy that seemingly marked a clear departure from the hostile posture of its predecessors. It appeared to place emphasis on conciliatory diplomacy. By and large, the Trump administration seems to be sensitive to the realities on the ground in Sudan, and understanding of the Sudanese perspective on regional issues. The October 2017 executive order by President Trump lifting sanctions on Sudan led to increased promise that other contentious issues could be resolved, such as Sudan’s presence on the list of states sponsoring terrorism and sub-optimal bilateral relations.
The lifting of unilateral sanctions on Sudan in October 2017 by President Trump, imposed since 1993 following the country’s placement on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, promised to reset economic relations between the US and Sudan and increase trade between the two countries. Technical, cultural and scientific exchanges suddenly appeared more possible than they had in a generation, while mutually beneficial economic cooperation appear likely to restart.
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The U.S. legislature/Congress
The relationship between U.S. lawmakers of both parties and the people and government of the Sudan is reaching an all-time high, as a sense of mutual respect and understanding is fostered as never before. The legacy of past misunderstandings between the U.S. Legislative Branch and the Sudanese government have been replaced by an unprecedented willingness to cooperate on a wide range of regional issues, ranging from counter-terrorism to African economic development.
The Embassy, for its part, continues to actively engage with Congress in order to provide its members with solid and verifiable facts on Sudan.
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Media, Press and the Activists
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