Sudan appoints former spy chief as top envoy to US

10 July, 2018 12:00 AM printer

KHARTOUM: President Omar al-Bashir Sunday appointed Sudan’s former spy chief as Khartoum’s top envoy to Washington, state media reported, in a bid to boost bilateral relations that have improved since last year, reports AFP. 

Mohamed Atta, who formerly headed the country’s powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), has been appointed as Khartoum’s new charge d’affaires to Washington, the official SUNA news agency reported.

“President Bashir has asked me to work hard to improve relations between the two countries,” SUNA quoted Atta as saying after he met Bashir earlier on Sunday.

Atta’s appointment comes at a time when relations between Khartoum and Washington have entered into a new phase after last year’s lifting of decades old US sanctions on Sudan.

Although the sanctions were lifted, Washington kept the East African country in its “state sponsors of terrorism” list along with North Korea, Iran and Syria.

US and Sudanese officials are now engaged in discussions on how to remove Khartoum from the blacklist, and Atta is expected to play a crucial role in these negotiations.