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U.S. set to lift some financial sanctions against Sudan

WASHINGTON - The United States is set to announce the easing of some financial sanctions against Sudan on Friday for its recent efforts in helping tackle terrorism, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

"The limited sanctions relief is an acknowledgement of progress by the government of Sudan," the official told Reuters ahead of the announcement expected from the White House.

It was not immediately clear which financial sanctions would be lifted.

The United States first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997, including a trade embargo and blocking the government's assets, for human rights violations and terrorism concerns. The United States layered on more sanctions in 2006 for what it said was complicity in the violence in Darfur.

The official said the lifting of the sanctions had no bearing on Sudan's designation by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide.

There have been some signs of a thawing of relations between the U.S. and Khartoum since last year. On Sept. 20, the State Department welcomed efforts by Sudan to increase counterrorism cooperation with the United States.

Sudan had taken steps to counter Islamic State and "other terrorist groups and has sought to prevent their movement into and through Sudan," State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement at the time.

Sudan last year joined a Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.