230. Telegram 1256 From the Embassy in Sudan to the Department of State1 2


  • Normalization Process with Sudan

For Assistant Secretary Davis (AF) only

1. Since I expect you may now have returned from your first area tour, assume you may shortly be in position to focus on question of how far we should now go in normalizing our relations with Sudan. Several months have passed since my original recommendations of March 10, but even those suggested normalizing most of our activities by this June. Both because there has continued to be modest favorable evolution in USG/GOS contacts in intervening months, and since June now upon us, I urge we move forward at this time with normalizing most repeat most of the actions proposed in my letter of March 10.

2. Specifically, I recommend that OPIC, PL 480 Title I, AID centrally-funded projects, ExIm and munitions control licensing operations be normalized. This would provide good mix of items in which our self-interest pre-dominates with those with humanitarian orientation. PL–480 (I), AID centrally-funded projects and munitions control licensing essentially represent clearing of our own bureaucratic underbrush. Thrust basic instructions (State 169610, Aug 3 1974) under which we still operating is to curb such activities, at least for FY 75. It would be assumed we might operate normally thereafter, but I believe some positive guidance is required to clarify the point and to clearly lift any remaining servitudes in these areas from Sudanese shoulders. Moreover, as one of UN’s 25 poorest countries, Sudan should clearly be eligible for normal consideration of PL–480 (I) requests, even though, as stated in my letter, these are unlikely for present. AID centrally-funded activities never were entirely suspended but Embassy, and I suspect AID/W, is uncertain whether all such projects may henceforth be conducted normally (we have been moving cautiously on this front to avoid giving impression here of normal AID contacts, but I think an increasing number of TDY technicians and visits to workshops by Sudanese experts should now be unexceptionable). OPIC and ExIm items would clearly benefit American firms, as would normalization munitions control licensing. Re latter, a considerable project is pending in non-lethal communications field which I would hope MC would be in position license routinely. Significant cash sales of lethal items are hardly likely (there were none in my first nine months at post) and, in any case, as with all repeat all items in our review, we are here concerned only with restoring Sudan’s eligibility. Any new actions would only be taken on case-by-case basis following usual review procedures.

3. Action on foregoing at this time would leave linked items of military training and DATT office plus question bilateral aid program for future normalization. Accelerating the process in this fashion would not only better accord with gathering momentum in USG/GOS relationships but would be easier handle bureaucratically than extended series individual actions. I would be grateful your views re foregoing. In my judgment, it is important that we not be seen at this stage to be responding too slowly to present welcome trends.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Policy Files, 1975. Confidential; Exdis. The March 10 letter referred to in paragraph 1 was not found, but a second letter restating Brewer’s views was sent on March 11, 1976. (Department of State, Khartoum Embassy Files: Lot 80 F 170, POL 1, U.S. Policy to GOS 1976)
  2. Ambassador Brewer urged Assistant Secretary Davis to move forward on normalization of relations with Sudan and recommended several specific steps.