Mnuchin Talks Economic Aid in Visit to Former Pariah Sudan

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is holding talks with Sudan’s government, the latest U.S. official to visit the North African country that’s rebuilding ties with Washington after decades as a pariah.

Mnuchin met Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in the capital, Khartoum, shortly after his arrival on Wednesday. The premier shared a photo on Twitter of the delegation, describing U.S.-Sudan relations as taking “historical leaps towards a better future.”

The treasury secretary also signed a memorandum of understanding with acting Finance Minister Heba Mohamed Ali on a previously announced bridge-loan facility. That will clear Sudan’s arrears with the World Bank and allow the impoverished country access to over $1 billion in annual lending, her ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. in mid-December rescinded Sudan’s 27-year designation as a state sponsor of terror, paving the way for it to rejoin the global community and boost its ravaged economy after the ouster of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Sudan weeks before agreed to establish official ties with Israel, a step no government of the Muslim-majority nation has ever taken.

Mnuchin’s also due to meet the chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the state-run SUNA news agency said before the visit.

Mnuchin arrived from Egypt, where on Tuesday he discussed with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi the Palestinian issue and the megadam Ethiopia is building on a Nile River tributary, according to a statement from the Egyptian presidency.

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