First US Ambassador to Sudan In 25 Years, Vows to Support Country’s Transition to Democracy
The first US ambassador to Sudan in 25 years has pledged to support the country’s transition to civilian rule. John Godfrey spoke as he presented his credentials to Sudan’s military government on Thursday.
Godfrey presented his credentials as the new US ambassador to Sudan at a ceremony at Sudan’s presidential palace.
The document was handed over to Sudan’s military leader Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan, who led the coup against the civilian government in October last year.
Al-Burhan, chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereignty Council, welcomed the return of a US army.
Emphasizing the importance of developing Khartoum-Washington relations, he said he hoped Godfrey’s appointment would bring new impetus to relations between the two countries.
After the diplomatic ceremony, Godfrey spoke to reporters in Arabic and expressed the US’s commitment to forging new ties with Sudan.
Speaking in Arabic, Godfrey said: “I am delighted to be the new US Ambassador to Sudan after more than 25 years. I am excited about this opportunity to work in Sudan and get to know its people and cultures better.”
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Godfrey was named the new ambassador to Sudan by the White House in early January. The US Congress approved his appointment in July, and he arrived in Khartoum last week to take up the post.
Relations between the United States and Sudan have been strained under the three-decade rule of deposed President Omar al-Bashir, with Washington imposing crippling economic sanctions on Khartoum.
The US government blacklisted Sudan as a state sponsoring terrorism in 1993 because the Bashir government was home to Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, who lived in the country from 1992 to 1996.
The ambassador’s arrival comes as Sudan is rocked by mounting unrest and a declining economy.
Godfrey said the US government hopes that an inclusive government run by civilians will be restored in Sudan to complete the remainder of the transition period.