Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok is in the USA with a high-level Sudanese delegation to show the world, the UN and the USA in particular how much his country has changed. This is the first time a Sudanese government leader is visiting Wahington D.C., in three decades. The main reason for the trip is to get US and UN sanctions against Sudan lifted.
Four days into their six day visit, U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo shared the view that relations between Washington D.C and Khartoum have improved since former President Omar al-Bashir was removed from power in April.
“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. This is a historic step to strengthen our bilateral relationship,” Mike Pompeo shared on twitter.
Khartoum and Washington D.C have shared a conflicting relationship for decades. The United States first established diplomatic relations with Sudan in 1956, following its independence from joint administration by Egypt and the United Kingdom.
Sudan broke diplomatic relations with the United States in 1967 after the start of the Arab-Israeli War. Relations were reestablished in 1972.
According to the U.S Department of State, Sudan established links with international terrorist organizations resulting in the United States’ designation of Sudan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1993 and the suspension of U.S. Embassy operations in 1996.
Last November, a senior State Department official said the United States no longer has an adversarial relationship with the Sudanese government and is working with its counterparts on the possibility of removing it from a list of state sponsors of terrorism.
But Tibor Nagy, assistant secretary for African affairs, cautioned that doing so was a process with conditions.
Ever since Sudan’s transitional government was formed in August 2019, officials have urged the US to lift sanctions against Sudan, because the sanctions impede the implementation of government programmes.