Africa 17.5.2017 11:15 am

Washington opposes Bashir’s participation in US-Arab Islamic summit

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. AFP PHOTO/ASHRAF SHAZLY        (Photo credit should read ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. AFP PHOTO/ASHRAF SHAZLY (Photo credit should read ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)

It remains unclear if the Saudis will take the American position into consideration.

The US state department is opposing the participation of Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir in the US-Arab Islamic Summit due to take place in Saudi Arabia from May 20-21.

The Saudi government has invited Bashir to take part in the historic meeting which will be attended by over 50 Arab and Islamic leaders, and by President Donald Trump when he visits Riyadh shortly.

“A senior State Department official said the United States opposes governments inviting anyone subject to outstanding ICC arrest warrants, including Al Bashir, and has made its position clear,” the Associate Press reported, adding that the official requested anonymity.

Saudi Arabia dispatched special envoys to the Islamic and Arab countries with invitations for their leaders, but no Saudi diplomat arrived in Khartoum with an invitation for Bashir.

A senior diplomatic source told the Sudan Tribune late last week that Bashir would leave for Saudi Arabia two days ahead of the summit for bilateral consultations with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, before taking part in the counter-terrorism summit.

It remains unclear if the Saudis will take the American position into consideration.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement – Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) – are due to meet with a Sudanese government delegation in Berlin on Thursday for informal consultations over outstanding issues.

This followed the failure of the two armed opposition groups and Khartoum to sign a humanitarian cessation of hostilities in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan after holdout rebels refused to negotiate on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

“The two Movements received an invitation from the German Foreign Ministry to meet with a delegation from the Sudanese government in Berlin on May 18 and 19,” said a statement signed respectively by JEM and SLM-MM chief negotiators Ahmed Tugud and Ali Trayo.

The informal consultations are to revolve around issues preventing a cessation of hostilities agreement, thereby paving the way for humanitarian access in Darfur.

The German government is one of the international facilitators supporting the efforts led by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to end the war in Sudan and achieve democratic reforms.

“The two Movements commend the continued efforts of the German government in the search for security, peace and stability in Darfur and throughout Sudan,” the statement added.

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