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Sudan’s Al Bashir ‘plans to speak at UN summit’

August 4 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir (Getty Images)
Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir (Getty Images)

Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir is planning to travel to New York in September to speak at the United Nations, Sudan’s deputy UN envoy said on Monday.

A provisional UN agenda for a sustainable development summit lists the Sudanese head of state as scheduled to speak on 26 September. The summit is due to formally adopt a plan for the world’s sustainable development over the next 15 years.

When asked whether Al Bashir would be attending the summit, Sudan’s Deputy UN Ambassador Hassan Hamid Hassan said: “Yes” but gave no further details. A provisional agenda for the UN General Assembly meeting of world leaders, which begins on 28 September, only lists Sudan as being represented at ministerial level.

Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesman Ali El Sadig declined to comment.

Al Bashir intended to speak at the UN General Assembly in 2013, but Sudanese officials said his US visa application was left pending, preventing him from travelling. Washington described the visa request at the time as “deplorable”.

When contacted by Reuters, a spokesman for the US State Department was not immediately available for comment on Al Bashir’s plans to visit New York next month.

Sudanese officials in Washington

In February this year, the United States defended the visit of Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti to Washington, drawing criticism from American opposition figures, activists and some congressmen. A week later, presidential assistant Dr Ibrahim Ghandour arrived in Washington, to visit the US administration on issues related to the bilateral relations between Sudan and the USA.

The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Al Bashir in 2009 and 2010, accusing him of masterminding genocide and other atrocities in his campaign to crush a revolt in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

States that are members of the ICC are obliged to act on arrest warrants. The USA is not a member. Washington also has a special agreement to allow leaders of UN member states to attend the annual General Assembly.

Al Bashir, who rejects the court’s authority, has managed to travel within Africa and the Middle East. He was recently forced to flee South Africa, however, after a court ruled he should be banned from leaving pending the outcome of a hearing on his possible arrest.

(Reuters)

Related articles:

Activists ask Obama to block Sudan President Al Bashir’s UN visit (20 September 2013)

Sudan’s President applies for visa to visit UN (17 September 2013) 


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