US stands with Sudanese people, ‘cautiously optimistic’: State Department official

The US will continue to stand with the Sudanese people despite “many setbacks,” a senior State Department official said Wednesday, voicing cautious optimism over ceasefire talks that Washington and Saudi Arabia brokered.

Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the talks between warring sides in Jeddah were ongoing and the US was “cautiously optimistic.”

Nuland said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has had seven calls to the two generals, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan, to try “to silence the guns and… and get talks going.”

Last week, President Joe Biden issued a new executive order authorizing sanctions against people destabilizing Sudan. Asked about this executive order, Nuland said the US was looking at specific targets that could be sanctioned under this authority.

As for Americans stranded in Sudan and the US efforts to evacuate citizens, Nuland batted down criticism of the Biden administration’s response. All-in-all, 1,300 Americans were evacuated, with more than 700 on evacuation flights carried out by US allies, including France and the UK.

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