Sudan's PM Hamdok, US Secretary Pompeo Hold 'Direct and Transparent' Talks in Khartoum

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meeting with the Sudanese Prime Minister, Dr. Abdulla Hamdouk in Khartoum.

Khartoum — Sudan's Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok has described his meeting this morning with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Khartoum today as 'a direct and transparent conversation'.

Secretary Pompeo is visiting Sudan as part of a tour of the Middle East which began with talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem yesterday.

Pompeo flew from Tel Aviv to Khartoum this morning on what he called in a Tweet, 'the first official nonstop flight from Israel to Sudan'. Included in the agenda of his meeting with the Sudanese PM was "to discuss continued US support for the civilian-led transitional government and express support for deepening the Sudan-Israel relationship".

In a statement via social media following the meeting, PM Hamdok said: "We had a direct and transparent conversation in which we discussed the removal of Sudan from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, bilateral relations, and the US government's support for the civilian government. I look forward to concrete positive steps that support the glorious December revolution."

The democratic transition underway is a once in a generation opportunity for the people of Sudan - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

On arrival in Sudan, Secretary Pompeo tweeted: "Great to be in Khartoum for meetings with the civilian-led transitional government. The democratic transition underway is a once in a generation opportunity for the people of Sudan. Looking forward to discussing how to deepen the US-Sudan relationship."

Pompeo's tour will now continue to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Visa restrictions

On August 13, Pompeo, announced that "individuals residing both inside and outside Sudan who are believed to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged, directly or indirectly, in undermining Sudan's civilian-led transitional government's efforts to implement the July 17, 2019, Political Agreement and August 17, 2019, Constitutional Declaration" will be subject to "visa restrictions".

According to the statement, the US believes that "Sudan's Constitutional Declaration provides the best roadmap to begin the transition to a just, equitable, and democratic society. Unfortunately, former Bashir-era officials and others continue to undermine Sudan's nascent democracy".

Restrictions will be implemented under the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212(a)(3)(C) and can include immediate family members of the individuals.

Sudan-US relations

On August 6, Hamdok received a phone call from Pompeo reiterating importance of Sudan-US bilateral relations and the country's removal from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Hamdok also received a call from Saudi Foreign Minister concerning economic recovery and stability in Sudan.

Hamdok tweeted "Delighted to receive a phone call from Mike Pompeo today to discuss further progress in delisting Sudan from the sponsors of terrorism list."

He also said he is "looking forward to the continued support of the US administration to Sudan's transitional government."

Pompeo has repeatedly indicated that the State Department hopes to remove the designation, which severely impedes investment to Sudan, but disputes have arisen on a compensation package over the 1998 bombings* of two US embassies.

* As reported by Radio Dabanga in June, according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an agreement with the Sudanese government on the victims of the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, would be reached in the coming weeks.

"We are working on a positive solution for Sudan's new leadership and the Sudanese people," Pompeo told the US-backed Al Hurra news station in an interview on Wednesday.

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