Pompeo to visit Sudan ‘to support transition’

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to visit Sudan in the coming week in a sign of the warming relations between the two countries.

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Sudan remains on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism which means it has trouble getting debt relief and attracting international investment.

But Sudan’s transitional government is hoping that this designation will change soon and that could provide a boost for the country’s struggling economy.

Mr Pompeo will be travelling to Sudan after a visit to Israel.

The Secretary of State “will meet with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Sovereign Council Chair General Abdel Fattah el-Burhan to discuss continued US support for the civilian-led transitional government and express support for deepening the Sudan-Israel relationship”, the State Department said in a statement.

In February, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Gen Burhan while on a visit to Uganda and they agreed to work towards normalising relations, Mr Netanyahu said at the time.

But this week Sudan sacked its foreign ministry spokesman after he called Israel’s recent deal with the United Arab Emirates “a bold step”, Reuters reports.

Nevertheless, Mr Pompeo’s visit to Sudan will symbolise a big change in the two countries’ relations.

Things began to shift under former President Omar al-Bashir, but have changed a gear since he was overthrown last year.

Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden lived in Sudan for five years in the 1990s as a guest of Mr Bashir’s government.

The US ruled that Sudan was responsible for the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 that killed 17 US sailors as the two suicide bombers involved were trained in the country.

Sudan agreed last year to compensate the victims’ families.

Source: bbc.com

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