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US Secretary Pompeo in Israel ahead of Sudan visit

August 24 - 2020 JERUSALEM
Sudan's PM Hamdok meets US Secretary Pompeo in Munich last year (File photo: SUNA)
Sudan's PM Hamdok meets US Secretary Pompeo in Munich last year (File photo: SUNA)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Israel this morning at the start of a six-day tour that will also include Sudan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates from August 23-28.

Pompeo landed at Ben Gurion airport and was met by the Chargé D’Affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Jonathan Shrier.

A US State Dept statement says that after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Pompeo will travel to Sudan to meet with Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and Sovereign Council Chair Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan “to discuss continued US support for the civilian-led transitional government and express support for deepening the Sudan-Israel relationship”.

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to arrive in Khartoum on Tuesday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Israel this morning (Video: US Embassy Jerusalem)

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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