Sudan appoints its first ambassador to the US in 25 years

CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s Foreign Ministry announced that it appointed the country’s first envoy to the U.S. in more than a quarter century, a step toward normalizing relations after the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir last year.

The ministry said late Monday the U.S. administration approved the appointment of veteran diplomat Noureldin Sati to serve as Sudan’s ambassador to Washington.

The two countries had for more than 25 years appointed only charges d’affaires, a diplomatic rank lower than ambassador, to run their missions in Washington and Khartoum, it said.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. State Department.

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The U.S. named Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 and the designation stuck throughout al-Bashir’s rule. The U.S. began a formal process to de-list Sudan in January 2017, but this was put on hold when Sudan’s mass protests erupted late in 2018. The uprising toppled al-Bashir and eventually forced the military into a power-sharing agreement with civilians.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said in December the two countries would exchange ambassadors without putting a time frame on the nominations. The U.S. ambassador to Sudan would be nominated by President Donald Trump and needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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