January 28, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government on Saturday has expressed regret over the decision by President Donald Trump restricting entry for Sudanese nationals to the United States.
On Saturday, President Trump issued an executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries including Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Iran and Somalia from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days.
Also, people holding permanent residency cards (green card) in the U.S. are included in Trump’s decision.
The executive order also stopped the admission of all refugees to the U.S. for four months.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir regretted the decision which coincides with the recent “historic move” to lift the U.S. trade and economic sanctions imposed on Sudan.
A week before the end of his second term, President Barack Obama signed an executive order easing economic embargo imposed on Sudan since 1997.
Khidir pointed that Trump’s decision comes as companies and businessmen from both nations are getting ready to resume contacts and launch trade and investment projects to utilize natural, human and economic resources for the benefit of the two peoples.
It added the Sudanese nationals residing in the U.S are well known for their good reputation and respect for laws, saying they continued to stay away from any terrorist or criminal acts.
The statement pointed the U.S. decision to ease the economic sanctions was an outcome of a long joint dialogue between the two countries in the various domains particularly the fight against terrorism.
“Senior U.S. officials have acknowledged Sudan’s significant efforts to confront this joint enemy [i.e. terrorism] in order to protect the two peoples” read the statement
The statement demanded the immediate lift of Sudan’s name from the list of the U.S. states sponsors of terror following Washington’s acknowledgement of Khartoum’s cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
The Sunday Telegraph in an article on its website underscored that President Trump invoked the 11 September 2001 attacks when he issued the ban on the citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries. "But the 19 plane hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. None of these countries not included on the ban list," it added.
Eric Reeves, an expert on Sudan and Senior Fellow at Harvard University, wrote that slammed the decision of President Trump he "does not distinguish between Sudanese desperately and justifiably seeking political asylum and, say, members of the Rapid Support Forces, whose war crimes should indeed bar their entry to any country except those willing to send such men to The Hague".
Sudan was placed on the US terrorism list in 1993 over allegations it was harbouring Islamist militants working against regional and international targets.
Washington admitted Sudan’s cooperation in the anti-terror war but continues to maintain the east African nation name on the list with Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Yemen.
The Foreign Ministry further stressed Sudan’s commitment to the “positive engagement” policy between the two countries, saying it would continue its dialogue with the U.S. government to promote friendship ties and enhance cooperation in the various fields.
The new American administration didn’t yet determine its policy towards Sudan. Washington has to review the economic sanctions within six months and to decide to re-establish it fully or to lift it definitely.