The United States will appoint an ambassador to Sudan for the first time in 23 years, US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.
« The United States and Sudan have decided to begin the process of exchanging ambassadors after 23 years, » he said in a statement.
« This decision is an important step forward in strengthening US-Sudanese bilateral relations, especially as a civilian-led transitional government is implementing far-reaching reforms, » he added.
The Prime Minister of this government, Abdallah Hamdok, was received Wednesday at the State Department by one of the assistants of Mike Pompeo. This is a historic official visit to a Sudanese head of state or government in Washington, the first since 1985. Relations were then lowest during the 30-year regime of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, spilled in the spring under the pressure of the street.
Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, number three in US diplomacy, « congratulated Prime Minister Hamdok » and « expressed the United States’ unwavering support for the Sudanese democratic transition, » according to a other release.
He called on him to finish putting in place the transitional institutions.
Sudan has been classified as a « state supporting terrorism » since the early 1990s when Omar al-Bashir hosted Osama bin Laden.
Khartoum is asking to be removed from this blacklist, which hampers investment and complicates the country’s economic recovery.
The US government recently said it would be willing to consider turning this page if sufficient progress was made in Sudan, while stressing that the process would take some time.