The US destroyer USS Winston Churchill arrived, Monday, at the Sudanese port of Port Sudan, on the Red Sea.
The arrival of the US destroyer to Sudan comes after Washington removed Khartoum from the list of states sponsoring terrorism at the end of 2020, following the overthrow of the Omar al-Bashir regime in April 2019.
The Chargé d’Affairs to the US Embassy in Sudan, Brian Shawkan, said on Twitter that this ship “is the second to dock in Sudan this week.”
“This historic visit shows the support of the United States of America for the democratic transition in Sudan and our desire for a new era of cooperation and partnership with Sudan,” he added.
An AFP journalist said that the US destroyer arrived in the morning and was received by the commander of the Sudanese navy and a number of American diplomats.
The express transport ship “USNS Carson City” docked last Wednesday in Port Sudan, and it was “the first US Navy ship to reach Sudan in decades,” as the US embassy in Khartoum said in a statement.
In the last week of last January, Ambassador Andrew Young, Deputy Commander of the US military command for Africa “AFRICOM” visited Khartoum and was the highest US military official to visit the country after its name was removed from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.
The arrival of the US destroyer came 24 hours after the arrival of the Russian frigate Admiral Grigorovich, “which is the first Russian warship to enter Port Sudan,” according to the Sudanese armed forces.
The Sudanese Armed Forces confirmed that the Russian ship’s visit comes within the framework of “normal activities.”
“The reception procedures were carried out according to the internationally recognized military maritime traditions,” she said in a statement. “The captain of the ship saluted all the parties that participated in the reception reception at the port.”
She added, “The visit of the Russian ship is one of the usual activities in diplomatic relations between world maritime powers and a tradition followed between armies.”
And Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his approval last November to establish a Russian naval base in Sudan capable of accommodating nuclear powered ships.
The military analyst, Suleiman Fakray, pointed out that the simultaneous arrival of the Russian frigate and the American destroyer is “a form of competition between the American and Russian military forces.”
“This simultaneous access indicates the importance of the Sudanese coasts on the Red Sea, and therefore we find that both countries are seeking to reach them,” Fakray said.
It is noteworthy that Washington removed Khartoum from its list of states sponsoring terrorism last December. After it was included on the list in 1993 on the accusation of establishing a relationship with radical Islamic groups headed by Al-Qaeda, whose founder and former leader Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan from 1992 to 1996.