US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the University of Louisville McConnell Center's Distinguished Speaker Series in Louisville. The US and Sudan are restoring diplomatic relations after 23 years, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing the countries will exchange ambassadors. File photo: AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley.

Washington - The United States and Sudan are restoring diplomatic relations after 23 years, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing the countries will exchange ambassadors.

"This is a historic step to strengthen our bilateral relationship," Pompeo said.

The move comes in the wake of the overthrow of long-time Sudanese strongman Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted from office in a coup in April after 30 years as president. Al-Bashir was also accused of war crimes.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok met US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday.

"Their discussion focused on Sudan's economic reform agenda and the importance of demonstrating a high-level commitment to combatting money laundering and terrorism financing," Treasury said in a statement, the first clear sign of reconciliation.

Hamdok was at the State Department as well on Wednesday and was hailed for his efforts "to break with the policies and practices of the previous regime."

Meanwhile, the US last month pulled its ambassador out of South Sudan over the failure of the factions in Juba to form a unity government.

dpa