India welcomes withdrawal of Sudan’s designation as state sponsor of terrorism

India has welcomed the Trump administration’s decision to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and Khartoum’s normalization of ties with Israel, saying that these positive developments will promote peace and development, as well as security and stability in the African nation.

In a statement on November 9, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, “India’s relations with Sudan are historic and special, and forged on the basis of shared values and close people-to-people contacts. We welcome the removal of Sudan from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism and Sudan’s normalization of relations with Israel.” The MEA also hailed the Sudanese government’s decision to normalize ties with Israel. “We congratulate the transitional government and the people of Sudan on the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement, and hope that these positive developments will usher in democratic changes and contribute to enhancing Sudan’s development, peace, security and stability,” the MEA said.

In late October, President Donald Trump had informed the US lawmakers about his decision to revoke Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism after his administration and the Sudanese government agreed on a peace treaty with Israel in exchange for its exclusion from the terror list. Additionally, Sudan has agreed to take steps for cessation of hostilities in conflict areas, improvement of humanitarian access, and addressing regional conflicts and terrorism in consultation with the US government. Besides the State Department, the Treasury, the Director of National Intelligence, the US Agency for International Development, and the nongovernmental organizations were also involved in the discussions.

In 1997, India and Sudan had upgraded their engagements to the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) during the visit of then Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Osman Taha to New Delhi where its first meeting was held. The third round of the JMC also took place in Delhi in 2017. According to Sudan’s Central Bank, India is the third-largest exporter to the country, mainly exporting food and petroleum products, machinery, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. On the other hand, Sudan exports sesame seed, gum, cotton, hides and skins, and groundnut under a duty-free scheme to LDCs provided by India. In 2016-17, India’s total exports to Sudan estimated at more than 751 million US dollars, according to the MEA.

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