Sources in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed that its executive board approved a plan to monitor a 12-month economic program prepared by Sudan.\r\n\r\nThe Sudanese government seeks to show its ability to implement reforms and move towards debt forgiveness.\r\n\r\nAntoinette Sayyeh, deputy director -general of the IMF, said that Sudan's transitional government gave it an opportunity to undertake fundamental reforms to address major macroeconomic imbalances and to prepare for comprehensive growth."\r\n\r\nSayyeh stated that Sudan's huge external debts and long-standing arrears continue to limit its ability to borrow abroad, including from the Fund, stressing the need to strengthen its economy, implement reforms and settle arrears.\r\n\r\nKhartoum is in dire need of financial aid to reorganize its economy. Inflation was at 167 percent in August, and the currency is also declining as the government prints money to subsidize bread, fuel and electricity.\r\n\r\nIn a statement, the IMF said Sudan had asked its experts to monitor its reforms and help Khartoum establish "a strong record of implementing policies and reforms, which is a prerequisite for eventual debt forgiveness."\r\n\r\nSuch agreements do not include financial assistance or constitute explicit support for the actual program.\r\n\r\nSayyeh said Sudan's program includes reforms aimed at stabilizing the economy, removing distortions, improving competitiveness and strengthening governance.\r\n\r\nShe stated that the Coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the challenges facing Sudan.\r\n\r\nThe planned reforms include continuing efforts to end large fuel subsidies to facilitate increased social spending, broadening the tax base and working to establish a unified exchange rate determined by the market.\r\n\r\nAfter the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir from power in April 2019, the United States indicated its willingness to work to remove Sudan from the list of terrorism.\r\n\r\nHebrew media reported that a new meeting is expected to take place soon between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Chairman of the Sudanese Transitional Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.\r\n\r\nThe Israeli TV, I24NEWS, quoted sources close to the Sudanese Sovereignty Council as saying that the upcoming meeting is expected to take place in the coming period in Uganda, such as the first meeting between Netanyahu and Al-Burhan that took place there in early February.\r\n\r\nThe TV also confirmed, citing Sudanese sources, that a press conference will be held in the Abbasi hall, east of Zaytuna Hospital, in Khartoum, on September 26, during which the launch of the "Sudanese-Israeli Friendship Association" will be announced.\r\n\r\nAl-Burhan, who recently visited the UAE, confirmed that he discussed with US officials several issues during the visit, including "peace with Israel."\r\n\r\nIn turn, the US delegate to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said yesterday that another Arab country will follow the example of the UAE and Bahrain in normalizing relations with Israel within the next two days.\r\n\r\nUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in a race against time to resolve his country's dispute with Sudan weeks before the presidential elections in the United States.\r\n\r\n"The United States has a one-time opportunity to ensure that compensation is finally provided to the victims of the 1998 terrorist attacks carried out by Al Qaeda against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania," Pompeo wrote in a letter to senators.\r\n\r\nHe added, "We also have a unique and narrow window to support the civilian-led transitional government in Sudan, which has finally got rid of Islamic dictatorship."\r\n\r\nThe agency "Agence France Presse" quoted a spokeswoman for the US State Department as saying that Pompeo now believes that there is a solution on the horizon and has made this "one of his main priorities."\r\n\r\nIn his message, Pompeo is putting pressure on the US Congress to vote on a law that removes Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism and will enter into force mid-October at the latest, to ensure compensation is paid to the victims as soon as possible.\r\n\r\nThis clearly means that the Trump administration is ready to lift the symbolic punishment on Sudan before the presidential elections on 3 November.