Sudan Names Diplomat to Take Charge of Reopened Washington Embassy
Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail named Tuesday a charge d'affaires to head his country's diplomatic mission in Washington, which he said would reopen within days.
Quoted by the official news agency SUNA, Ismail said the new charge would be Khidr Haroun, currently head of the department for relations with the Americas at the Sudanese foreign ministry.
He did not rule diplomatic relations between Khartoum and Washington, which are poor, being raised to ambassador level "if circumstances change."
US diplomats started operating their embassy in Khartoum last April after a four-year layoff, and Washington has appointed a charge d'affaires, Raymond Brown, who is based in Kenya.
Sudan closed its embassy in Washington in 1988 after US cruise missiles destroyed a pharmaceutical factory near Khartoum which the US authorities alleged was making chemical weapons for alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
US diplomats had already pulled out of Khartoum in 1996, accusing Sudan of supporting Islamic terrorism.
The Sudanese authorities have recently been trying to get back into Washington's favour, saying they would welcome US initiatives to end the long-running civil war in the country.
Last month at an Arab summit in Amman Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his Sudanese counterpart Omar el-Beshir agreed Cairo would attempt to improve US-Sudanese relations.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has undertaken a review of policy on Sudan and is being urged by lawmakers to appoint a special envoy to deal with the country – KHARTOUM (AFP)
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