Pompeo in Sudan, top US official to visit since uprising
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Sudan on Tuesday, the top US official to visit the African country since last year's ouster of its autocratic leader, Omar al-Bashir.
Cairo: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Sudan on Tuesday, the top US official to visit the African country since last year's ouster of its autocratic leader, Omar al-Bashir.
Pompeo's visit on Tuesday is meant to discuss the normalization of ties between Sudan and Israel and also show US support for the country's fragile transition to democracy.
Pompeo is also the first US secretary of state to visit the African county since 2005, when Condoleezza Rice visited. Pompeo was also to discuss the removal of Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Pompeo arrived from Israel, and while he was still airborne, he tweeted: Happy to announce that we are on the FIRST official NONSTOP flight from Israel to Sudan! Pompeo's flight was the first direct trip between Tel Aviv to Khartoum. He was in Israel Monday, the first stop of his multi-country tour in the region that came following the August 13 agreement by Israel and the United Arab Emirates to establish diplomatic ties.
He is to meet with Sudanese Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling sovereign council, and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
Sudan is now on a fragile path to democracy after the popular uprising led the military to overthrow al-Bashir in April 2019.
A military-civilian government now rules the country, with elections deemed possible in late 2022.
The transitional authorities are desperate to lift sanctions linked to its listing by the US as a state sponsor of terror.
That would be a key step toward ending its isolation and rebuilding its battered economy that has plunged in recent months, threatening to destabilize the political transition.