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U.S. May Resume Sudan Consular Aid

April 21, 2000

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) _ The United States is to resume consular services in Khartoum after a four-year gap, the Sudanese foreign ministry said Friday.

A U.S. charge d’affaires will start work in the Sudanese capital on Saturday and a consul is scheduled to arrive next week, the official Sudan News Agency cited Foreign Ministry sources as saying.

It was not possible to confirm the report with the State Department in Washington because of the holiday Friday.

The United States closed its embassy in Khartoum in 1996 amid fears of terrorists in Sudan. U.S. diplomats accredited to Sudan have subsequently worked from the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

U.S.-Sudanese relations deteriorated further in 1998 after the United States hit a pharmaceutical factory in north Khartoum with cruise missiles. Washington said the plant made the precursors for chemical weapons, but Khartoum said it manufactured only medical drugs and vaccines. The attack followed the terrorist bombing of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told state-run television Wednesday that a U.S. charge d’affaires had arrived in Sudan. He said there would soon be a U.S. diplomat working at the American Embassy.

``There will be a diplomat at the embassy in the near future even when the charge d’affaires is in Nairobi,″ a Foreign Ministry official told the Sudan News Agency on Friday.

The ministry official did not say when the embassy in Khartoum would reopen.

Update hourly