Sudan's transitional government says it's reached a settlement with families of the victims of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, in a bid to have the African country taken off the US terrorism list.
Sudan has agreed to compensate the families of 17 U.S. sailors who died when their ship, the USS Cole, was bombed by al-Qaeda at a port in Yemen in 2000.
It said Sudan is offering the compensation "only in order to meet the prerequisites set by the American Administration for removing the name of the Sudan from the list of states sponsors of worldwide terrorism, so that relations with the United States of America and the rest of the world could be normalized".
"The Government of the Sudan would like to indicate that it was clearly stated in the concluded settlement agreement that the government is not responsible for this act or any other acts of terrorism", the state-run Sudan News Agency quoted a justice ministry statement as saying.
Last year, the US Supreme Court overturned, on procedural grounds, a 2012 ruling ordering Sudan to pay more than $300m to the victims' families. Initial claims had been in the billions, Saleh said, and Sudan's interim government had "inherited an empty treasury".
The Trump administration has been looking at lifting the terrorism designation for Sudan "for quite some time", said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking to reporters on a plane to Germany, before visiting several countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Sudan's government has reached a settlement with families of the victims of the USS Cole bombing, according to The Associated Press. More than 200 people were killed and more than 1,000 were wounded in those attacks.
At the time, Sudan was accused of supporting al-Qaida.
But Adam Hall, a lawyer for the families of the victims, said it would provide $70 million to be split among families of the 17 people killed as well as 15 sailors who were injured in the attack.
"We expect the United States and the world to understand and to be supportive instead of imposing more obstacles", he said.
Sudan's chronic economic trouble - led by high inflation as well as shortages of fuel and foreign currency - was the main trigger for nationwide protests against now ousted leader Omar al-Bashir.
In the USS Cole attack, two men in a boat detonated explosives alongside the US destroyer as it was refueling in Aden.
He spoke at a news conference in South Sudan's capital Juba, where the government and rebels are holding talks to end the country's decades-long civil war. The victims' families, along with the wounded sailors, had sued the Sudanese government in USA courts demanding compensations.
In 2012, a federal judge issued a judgment of almost $315 million against Sudan but last March, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that ruling on the grounds that Sudan hadn't been properly notified of the lawsuit.
It wasn't clear when the 76-year-old al-Bashir could be handed over to the court in The Hague, Netherlands.
"The Americans believe Sudan's support of terror was carried out through its security apparatus", Saleh said.
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