A U.S. congressional delegation arrived in Sudan on Sunday for talks with Sudanese officials — the first visit since the lifting of U.S. sanctions last year.
Led by Congressman Luis Vicente Gutierrez, the delegation will meet with Sudanese Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Salih and a host of senior official as well as opposition leaders and representatives of the civil society organizations.
Talks are expected to focus on ways of normalizing relations between Khartoum and Washington following the lifting of the U.S. sanctions in October.
In statements to local media, Sudanese parliament speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omer said the discussions will include a host of issues, including lifting Sudan from the U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism.
Sudan was designated by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 for allegedly harboring terrorist organizations.
The talks will also tackle difficulties still facing Sudan despite the U.S. decision to lift sanctions on Khartoum, Omer said.
“We want them (Americans) to see Sudan as it is and not to listen to anyone who intentionally gives a negative image about the situation in Sudan,” he said.
For his part, Gutierrez said the visit aims to listen to the views of Sudanese officials and lawmakers and to discuss the role of parliaments in normalizing relations between the two countries.
“We are mostly here to listen and to know the challenges in place in Sudan,” he said. “We have many differences but we believe that the better way to address them is through dialogue.”