Source: Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan


December 4, 2019 (WASHINGTON) - Michael Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State Wednesday announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Sudan at the ambassadorial level.

"Pleased to announce that the United States and Sudan have decided to initiate the process to exchange ambassadors for the first time in 23 years," said Pompeo in a statement after welcoming the visit of the Sudanese Prime Minister to Washington.

"This decision is a meaningful step forward in strengthening the U.S.-Sudan bilateral relationship, " he stressed.

The Secretary of State is accompanying President Donald Trump at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in London. The statement was released as he was heading to Lisbonne for a meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

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The United States maintains Sudan under the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism despite the regime change in Khartoum after the removal of Omer al-Bashir's regime.

The exchange of ambassadors is the first tangible sign of support from Trump administration to the Sudanese people and Hamdok's government.

It comes days before a meeting for the Friends of Sudan in Khartoum and the resumption of the peace talks with the armed groups in Juba.

During his meetings with U.S. officials, Hamdok sought to explain how much Sudan is in dire need for the removal from the terror list, saying that the debt relief process cannot be launched if his country is not delisted.

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Also, he said foreign investors would not be reassured and come to the improvised country unless this punitive measure is not cancelled.

In a tweet he posted from Washington, Sudanese prime minister welcomed the restoration of relations at the ambassadorial level.

"After 23 years, it is great to finally witness the initiation of the process of exchange of Ambassadors between Sudan and the USA. This is a concrete step towards rebuilding Sudan," he said.

In a meeting held with Hamdok on Wednesday, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, David Hale expressed unwavering U.S. support for Sudan's democratic transition.

"The Under Secretary and the Prime Minister discussed pathways to strengthening bilateral relations, as well as cooperative efforts that can accelerate progress in bringing definitive peace between the government and Sudan's armed opposition groups," said the State Department.

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According to the statement, Hale also asked Hamdok to support work bring the South Sudanese parties to achieve progress in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

Sudan is a guarantor of the peace agreement and participates actively with the IGAD countries to ensure the implementation of the critical issues in the pre-transitional process and the formation of the transitional national unity government.

(ST)

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