The head of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services returned to Khartoum this morning after meeting CIA and FBI officials in Washington.
Sudan’s security chief, Mohammed Atta Abbas Al Moula, met CIA Director Michael Pompeo and FBI Director James Comey as well as a number of Congressmen in a visit lasting several days.
In a statement released to the official news agency and a number of newspapers, the visiting intelligence chief discussed security, political and humanitarian issues in the region. The visit was the first official meeting since the United States imposed economic sanctions on the Republic of Sudan 20 years ago and the country was placed on the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1993.
During the 1990s, Sudan imposed an open-door policy to all holders of Arab passports or countries with membership of the Arab League, allowing foreign nationals to enter the country without a visa. Saudi’s Osama Bin Laden took residency in the country, but was forced to leave after international pressure on the Sudanese government. Khartoum was accused of habouring terrorists and of launching terrorist operations from its territory including the bombing of the Tanzania and Kenyan American embassies and an assassination attempt against the then President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak.
In an interview before his death Hassan Abdualla Al-Turabi, the former secretary-general of the ruling National Congress Party alleged that the first vice president was behind the attempted assassination of Mubarak. In 1995, Mubarak’s motorcade was targeted by snipers as he was on route to the African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa.
These latest meetings with the leader of the US intelligence services were described as “intensive”, in addition to the talks with the US presidential committee and representatives of congress. Sources confirmed to MEMO that the Sudanese intelligence chief and his accompanying entourage dealt with a number of important issues including the proposed travel ban on six Muslim majority countries which includes Sudan.
Last December, the Department of State under the Obama administration issued a statement welcoming Sudan’s efforts to combat terrorism and its increased cooperation with Washington. Furthermore, former President Barack
Obama eased economic sanctions on Sudan and the decision will be enforced following a review to be made by several agencies including the CIA and the FBI.
The visit comes nearly three weeks after a meeting in Washington by the speaker of the Sudanese parliament, Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, and Congressmen and US officials. Omer expressed optimism about renewed and improved Sudanese-American relations.