First Published: 2017-05-19

Sudan's Bashir to skip Trump-Muslim summit for 'personal reasons'
Presence of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is accused of war crimes, at Islamic summit in Riyadh had been strongly criticised by Washington.
Middle East Online

Bashir has evaded arrest since his indictment by the ICC for alleged genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity

KHARTOUM - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, will not join an Islamic summit in Saudi Arabia with US President Donald Trump, his office said Friday.

"President Omar al-Bashir has apologised to King Salman of Saudi Arabia for being unable to attend the Riyadh summit," a statement from his office carried by the official SUNA news agency said.

It said he had been unable to accept the king's invitation for "personal reasons."

Bashir has evaded arrest since his indictment by the ICC for alleged genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the 14-year-old conflict in Darfur that has killed tens of thousands of people.

His planned attendance at Sunday's summit of Arab and Muslim leaders in Riyadh had drawn strong criticism from Washington.

Trump is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites, from Saturday on his first foreign trip since taking office in January.

He will address the summit on his "hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam," the White House said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia is not a signatory to the Rome Statute under which the ICC was founded, while Sudan and the United States have not ratified the statute of the Hague-based court.

But the US embassy in Khartoum said on Wednesday that it opposed "invitations, facilitation or support for travel by any person subject to outstanding International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants, including President Bashir".

South Africa, which is a signatory to the Rome Statute, is currently facing proceedings before the ICC for failing to arrest Bashir during a 2015 visit.

Last year, the ICC referred Chad, Djibouti and Uganda to the UN for also failing to arrest Bashir. So far no action has been taken against them.

The Sudanese leader was also a guest at a March Arab League summit hosted by Rome Statute signatory Jordan.

 

Regime strikes in Syria enclave despite ceasefire call

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Egypt presidential race starts with Sisi likely to win

Christian leaders close Church of the Holy Sepulchre in tax dispute

Blatter supports Morocco bid for 2026 World Cup

Iraq condemns 15 Turkish women to death for belonging to IS

Thousands expected for radical Israeli rabbi's funeral

Syrian Kurd leader arrested in Prague

Philippine officials meet nationals in Kuwait amid labour row

Families of IS suspects in Iraq face 'collective punishment'

Iran's ex-intelligence minister slams handling of prison death

More strikes hit E. Ghouta as UN delays truce vote

Turkey says US embassy Jerusalem opening in May 'extremely worrying'

Lebanon says both suspects in Kuwait murder of Filipina maid held

38 dead in Mogadishu car bombings

Morocco police arrests prominent newspaper publisher

Syria regime continues to pound Ghouta as world stutters

UN rights commission wants S.Sudan war crimes charges

Iran grounds airline's ATR planes after crash

Turkey summons Dutch diplomat over Armenian 'genocide' vote

Turkey navy threatens to engage Italian drillship near Cyprus

Iran police shoving headscarf protester sparks social media storm

UN Security Council to vote Friday on Syria ceasefire

Dubai says Djibouti illegally seized African port

Dutch parliament recognises 1915 Armenian massacre as genocide

Heavily bombarded Eastern Ghouta awaits UN resolution

Russia says Syria rebels rejected offer to evacuate E. Ghouta

UN diplomats press for Syria ceasefire without Russia veto

Iranian minister’s presence at UN rights meeting angers critics

Iran warns it will leave nuke deal if banks cannot do business

Qatar to plant thousands of trees to ‘beautify’ World Cup venues

Pro-Kurdish party says Turkey lying about 'no civilian deaths' in Afrin

African migrants protest Israeli detention policy

Egypt sentences 21 to death for planning attacks

Israeli handball teams in Qatar spark furious outcry from locals

UN report highlights S.Sudan journalist treatment

Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli soldiers

Gulf states urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Wanted Bahraini militants die at sea en route to Iran

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for immediate free elections

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea