President Donald Trump signaled Sudan would be removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism if it pays compensation of $335 million to American terror victims and their families.
The move would open the door for Sudan to receive much needed international loans and aid to revive its battered economy.
Sudan has been listed since 1993 when al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden lived in the country as a guest of the government.
The compensation relates to the victims of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, attacks conducted by Bin Laden’s al-Qaida network while he was living in Sudan which killed more than 200 people.
Trump made the announcement on Twitter.
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who took office last year, welcomed the announcement, also on Twitter.
The move could also help Sudan’s transition to democracy. Last year a popular uprising led to the military overthrow of autocratic leader Omar al-Bashir.
A military-civilian government now rules the country with elections possible in late 2022.
The announcement, just two weeks ahead of the U.S. presidential election, also comes as the Trump administration works to get other Arab countries, such as Sudan, to join the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain’s recent recognition of Israel.