Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Sudan president will not attend Saudi summit with Trump

Sudan president will not attend Saudi summit with Trump

In a press release on Wednesday, the USA embassy in Khartoum explained Washington's rejection of al-Bashir's participation in the meeting attended by President Trump, saying "we oppose invitations, facilitation, or support for travel by any person subject to outstanding International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants, including President Bashir".

The Sudanese state news agency SUNA said that al-Bashir would not attend the meeting "for personal reasons", but it did not elaborate.

Earlier, al-Bashir received a message from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, delivered by his special envoy, to invite him to attend the summit.

Saudi Arabia is holding the event under the slogan "Together We Prevail" in hopes of fighting extremist ideologies and cooperating with American and Islamic allies to strengthen economic relations.

The U.S. embassy in Khartoum had opposed the participation of Bashir at the summit saying: "we oppose invitations, facilitation, or support for travel by any person subject to outstanding International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants, including President Bashir".

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The tribunal issued arrest warrants in 2009 and 2010 for Bashir for alleged crimes related to the conflict. The U.N. estimates 300,000 people have died in the last decade as conflict raged in the region.

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Al-Bashir's invitation to the summit was a source of unease for US officials.

Sudan has close military, business and political ties with Saudi Arabia.

But a United States official told NBC News earlier that the Trump administration opposed invitations or travel by individuals facing ICC indictments. It is also part of a Saudi-led coalition at war in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels.

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