Sudan appoints first ambassador to US in decades

Sudan appoints first ambassador to US in decades
Khartoum has appointed veteran diplomat Noureldin Sati as its first ambassador to Washington in 23 years.
2 min read
05 May, 2020
The US downgraded diplomatic relations with Sudan in 1998 [Getty]
Sudan has appointed its first ambassador to the United States in more than two decades, its foreign ministry said on Monday.

Khartoum and Washington last year vowed to improve ties after nearly three decades of antagonism under former dictator Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted last April after months of protest

The foreign ministry said it had chosen veteran diplomat Noureldin Sati as ambassador to Washington and that US authorities approved his nomination, Reuters reported.

Sati previously served as Sudan's ambassador to France before going on to work in United Nations peacekeeping missions in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The US is expected to follow suit by appointing its own ambassador to Khartoum for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, but the State Department has so far declined to provide any information on such plans.

A future ambassador to Sudan would have to be appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate.

Washington announced plans to exchange ambassadors with Sudan in December last year, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praising the transitional government for "vast reforms" made to break from Bashir's regime.

In 1998, the US expelled Sudan's ambassador and downgraded diplomatic representation to charges d'affaires.

Five years earlier, Washington placed Khartoum on its State Sponsors of Terrorism list over its hosting of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

Sudan was accused of aiding the extremist group and later sued by victims of two Al-Qaeda attacks. US officials have expressed sympathy over the terror designation which prevents Sudan from access much international aid, but have stressed that its removal from the list is a legal process that takes time.

Payment of a multi-million dollar settlement to the victims of the 1998 Al-Qaeda attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania "remains a priority for the US government", a State Department spokesperson told Reuters.

"The United States and Sudan continue to engage regarding certain terrorism-related claims," the spokesperson added.

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