Sudanese President Abdalla Hamdok said he was holding a “direct talks with U.S. Secretary of State. Mike Pompeo in Khartoum on Tuesday, including removing Sudan from U.S. government sponsors.
Pompeo entered Sudan after a non-stop flight in Israel in what he said was the first air travel between the two countries, as the United States lifted strong ties with Sudan-Israel.
His visit is part of a regional tour following an agreement between Israel and the UAE this month to form a full-fledged relationship, and it comes as Israel and the United States push for more Arab countries to follow them.
The United States imposed sanctions on Sudan over its support for warring factions in Darfur, during the reign of Omar al-Bashir Bashir, a longtime dictator ousted from power in April 2019.
Trade extensions were proposed in 2017 but Sudan remains on the U.S. list of terrorist sponsors, which prevents it from accessing the required funding from foreign lenders.
Hamdok also tweeted that he and Pompeo were discussing support for the Sudanese government-led transformation government, and that he was looking at “concrete steps” to support Sudan’s transformation.
Pompeo said on Twitter after they left Tel Aviv: “I am delighted to announce that we are on Israel’s first NONSTOP flight to Sudan!”
The State Department said Pompeo’s brief stoppage in Khartoum was to discuss U.S. support. In a people-led government and “strengthening Sudan-Israel relations”.
Asked if Pompeo would announce changes in Sudan such as strengthening relations with Israel or lifting sanctions on the U.S., a U.S. official aboard Pompeo’s plane said: “It is possible that more history has been made.”
Contact with Israel is a clear issue in Sudan, which was among the worst Islamic enemies of Israel under Bashir.
In February, the head of the governing body Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda, but they questioned the immediate enforcement of the relationship.
Sudan announced on August 19 that it had left its foreign ministry spokesman after calling on the UAE’s decision to become the third Arab country to mediate relations with Israel “a bold step”.