A new era is dawning in Sudan, which has been taken off the US list of state sponsors of terrorism after 27 years. The US embassy in the capital, Khartoum, said Monday that 45 days had elapsed since President Trump gave Congress notice of the move, making delisting official, NPR reports. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that the designation was "officially rescinded" and he looks forward "to building a stronger US-Sudanese partnership." The country, which once sheltered Osama bin Laden and was linked to terrorist attacks including the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was taken off the list after agreeing to pay $330 million to al-Qaeda victims.
After almost three decades in "global isolation," Sudan now rejoins the international community "as a "peaceful nation supporting global stability," tweeted Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Sudan is undergoing what the AP calls a "fragile transition to democracy" after the ouster of autocratic leader President Omar al-Bashir last year, and it will now be able to access badly needed international aid and loans. James Copnall at the BBC notes that "US officials admitted the designation was a political tool, a point of leverage, rather than a fair assessment of whether Sudan was still supporting terror groups abroad." The US, he says, "would never have removed Sudan from the list as long as Bashir was in power; this has been made possible as a civilian cabinet is now in place." (In October, Sudan agreed to normalize ties with Israel.)