KHARTOUM, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) mediator for peace in Sudan Thabo Mbeki on Saturday said the U.S decision to lift the economic sanctions on Sudan is "important" for the peace process that the AU is leading.
"I think it is a very good decision, and I think the Americans need to move on all other sanctions that are remaining, because I think the normalization of relations between Sudan and the United States is important," Mbeki told reporters upon arrival at Khartoum airport early Saturday.
"It is important, not just for Sudan and the United States, but it is important also for the peace process," added the former South African president.
The United States on Friday decided to lift its economic sanctions on Sudan permanently, citing Sudan's "sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, improve humanitarian access throughout Sudan, and maintain cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism."
The U.S State Department announced that the decision would go into effect as of Oct. 12. The decision, however, kept Sudan on the U.S list of countries sponsoring terrorism.
The United States has been imposing sanctions on Sudan since 1997 and listing it as one of the countries sponsoring terrorism.