Sudan has called on the United States to fully normalize relations with Khartoum, one day after Washington lifted most of the economic and trade sanctions imposed on the Arab country two decades ago.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Saturday, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour urged the U.S. administration to lift the remaining sanctions and remove Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsor of terrorism.

“Sudan has suffered for a long time from these unilateral economic sanctions so we believe that we have passed this stage and the lifting of the sanctions has become a reality,” Ghandour said.

“Now, we are in the second phase of looking forward towards normal relations between our two countries,” he added.

“Ties between Sudan and U.S. date back to before Sudan’s independence and we are looking forward to fully normalizing relations and we feel that the Americans are currently having the same desire,” the top diplomat said.

Washington first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997 for alleged links to terrorism. A further round of sanctions was put in place in 2006 in response to Sudanese forces’ actions in the troubled Darfur region.

But on Friday, the U.S. administration lifted most of the sanctions, saying Khartoum had begun to address concerns about terrorism and human rights abuses.

Washington, however, left other sanctions in place, including those against individuals with arrest warrants related to the Darfur conflict.

Last month, the U.S. administration removed Sudan from the list of countries whose citizens are subject to travel restrictions.

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