The United States will not lift sanctions from Sudan until the trading conditions are favourable to Washington, a diplomatic source has told MEMO.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said that the delay in permanently lifting the sanctions is part of the US Trump administration’s “America-first” policy.
By lifting the sanctions without trade and business deals favourable to the United States, the administration would be lifting the embargo for other countries to benefit; the US did not want to commit to a ‘something for nothing’ policy the source explained.
On Tuesday last week, the United States put in place a three-month extension to the decision to permanently lift the economic sanctions imposed against the Sudan more than 20 years ago. Washington said that it was giving Sudan more time to better fulfil the conditions of a five-track plan which includes counter-terrorism measures, better humanitarian relief to conflict areas, not assisting Uganda’s Lord’s Army and conducting a non-intervention policy in neighbouring South Sudan.
The Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir reacted angrily to the delay in lifting sanctions by suspending on Wednesday the joint Sudan-America negotiations committee set up to monitor and assess Sudan’s efforts to fulfil the conditions of the five-point plan.
The source told MEMO that he now expects that the United States will seek assurances that its businesses will be given priority in investment and trade deals and that Sudan will be obliged to cut rival economic cooperation deals.
Khartoum has indicated that Al-Bashir will meet with his Russian counterpart Putin next month and that the focus for Sudan’s future long-term investment strategy may move closer towards the “BRIC” countries.