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Trump approves first Sudanese ambassador to Washington in 23 years

The US recently upgraded relations with Sudan [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 September, 2020

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Ambassador Noureldin Satti's credentials were approved by US President Donald Trump on Friday.
US President Donald Trump received the first Sudanese ambassador to Washington in 23 years, reports confirmed on Friday.

Trump approved the accreditation for Ambassador Noureldin Satti after he had submitted his credentials to the White House on Thursday.

Satti was chosen by Khartoum to take the position as the first ambassador to Washington in decades after diplomatic relations between the two countries were finally upgraded last year.

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy commented on the Sudanese ambassador’s appointment, saying that he looks forward to progress in Sudanese-American relations.

The American official congratulated Satti in his tweet on Twitter, for being the first Sudanese ambassador to the United States of America in 23 years.

Sudan, which has launched sweeping social and political reforms, now hopes Washington will soon take it off its blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism as it seeks to fully re-integrate into the international community.

Sudan has been under US sanctions for decades because of the presence of Islamists, including Osama bin Laden, who lived there for years in the 1990s before heading to Afghanistan.

While the US lifted a 20-year trade embargo against Sudan in October 2017, it kept the country on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, and Khartoum has been lobbying hard to have that designation lifted.

Sudan has been in talks on compensating victims of Bashir-era Al-Qaeda attacks, including the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen and the simultaneous 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Meanwhile, closer ties with US ally Israel are expected to help Sudan in its bid to relinquish its position from the US blacklist. While both sides have already taken a series of steps, they have been muddied however by mixed messaging from Sudan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Sovereign Council Chair General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Uganda in February and later announced that the two leaders had agreed to cooperate towards normalising ties.

Read also: Will Sudan's historic deal with rebels finally bring peace?

Sudan's cabinet later denied that Burhan had made such a promise, which remains highly controversial in much of the Arab world.

More recently, Sudan's foreign ministry spokesman Haider Badawi said he was in favour of such an accord, but foreign minister Omar Gamaledinne then said the issue had "never been discussed by the Sudanese government" and promptly fired the spokesman.

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