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Sudan’s former spy-chief appointed ambassador to Washington

July 8, 2018 (KHARTOUM) Former director of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Mohamed Atta would leave for the United States during the next few days to take up his duties as Sudan’s ambassador to Washington.

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The former head of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Mohamed Atta Abbas Al-Moula (Photo: Reuters)

Last February, the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir appointed Atta as Ambassador at the Foreign Ministry days after he was removed from his position as director of the NISS.

In press statements following his meeting with al-Bashir on Sunday, Atta said the president renewed Sudan’s keenness to promote its relations with the U.S.

He pointed out that the next period would witness resumption of the joint Sudanese-U.S. dialogue, calling for tight coordination among government bodies to remove obstacles hindering the development of ties with the U.S.

In October 2017, Washington decided to lift economic sanctions on Sudan in line with a five-track framework reached by the two countries in December 2016. Khartoum, accordingly, authorized humanitarian access to civilians in Darfur and unilaterally declared a cessation of hostilities in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The two countries agreed to resume talks on the normalization of bilateral talks and the lift of remaining sanctions particularly Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorist groups. The measure is crucial to get a debt relief and allow Sudan to get international aid to build its economic infrastructure.

In November 2017, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, was in Khartoum to launch the second phase of the normalization process and pointed to the need for reforms on human rights and religious freedom. Also, the two countries agreed to engage in written exchanges for Sudan’s removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

(ST)