Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The United States on Monday officially removed Sudan from its list of nations designated as state backers of terrorism, fulfilling a top goal for the African nation's transitional government.
Sudan's removal from the terrorism blacklist became official at the conclusion of a 45-day waiting period following U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's signing of a notification rescinding Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Monday marks a "historic day in the U.S.-Sudanese bilateral relationship, as Sudan's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism is officially rescinded," Pompeo said in a tweet.
"I congratulate [Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok] and the Sudanese people and look forward to building a stronger U.S.-Sudanese partnership," he said.
Sudan was first blacklisted as a sponsor of terrorism in 1993, when al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden lived there as a guest of the government.
Momentum to remove it from the list accelerated last year when an uprising ousted longtime President Omar al-Basir, who is accused of crimes against humanity stemming from the Darfur conflict, during which more than than 300,000 Sudanese were killed.
President Donald Trump announced in October that Sudan would be removed from the list after it had agreed to provide compensation for the families of victims of the 1998 twin embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
Hamdok hailed the rescinding of the designation, which he says has prevented his government from receiving debt relief and financing from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
"Today, after more than two decades, it has been announced to our people that the name of our beloved country has come out of the list of states sponsoring terrorism and our liberation from the international and global blockade into which the behavior of the ousted regime has forced us," he said in a tweet.
Responding to Pompeo's message, Hamdok wrote, "It's indeed a historic day for our bilateral relations, by which we look forward to establish meaningful partnerships to benefit our people."