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CIA delegation attends high-profile Sudan security meet

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir delivers a speech during the National Congress Party's fourth general assembly at Khartoum International Fair in Khartoum, Sudan on 28 April, 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]

By MiddleEastMonitor

A high-level delegation from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) attended the 14th session of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) convened this week in Sudan.

Fifty-one African intelligence chiefs attended the event, which is due to wrap up on Saturday.

The participation of a CIA delegation at a high-profile security event in Khartoum has been seen by some observers as a possible sign of thawing US-Sudanese relations.

Earlier this year, the US lifted several longstanding economic sanctions imposed on Khartoum, citing Sudanese cooperation in the regional fight against terrorism.

However, a number of US sanctions – some of which were imposed over two decades ago based on allegations that Khartoum supported terrorism – remain in effect.

In his keynote speech at the CISSA summit, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir described continued US sanctions on his country as “unjust”.

“These sanctions have weakened my country and caused immense hardship for its people,” he said.

“But despite the sanctions,” he added, “concentrated efforts are being made to achieve national security and stability and to counter extremism.”

Al-Bashir made the remarks only two weeks before US President Donald Trump is due to decide whether or not to permanently lift all remaining sanctions.

Sudan, for its part, has consistently denied allegations that it is a supporter of terrorism.
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