September 27, 2013 (KHARTOUM/WASHINGTON) – Sudan’s foreign minister has called on the United Nations General Assembly to condemn the United States "denial of entry visa" to the Sudanese president Omer Al Bashir, as the foreign ministry in Khartoum summoned the American chargé d’affaires to protest the delay on the same day.
- Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Sudan, addresses the general debate of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly, on 27 September 2013 (Photo UN)
"It is with deep regret I inform you of the refusal by the authorities of the United States to give an entry visa to president Omer Al Bashir and his delegation", said minister Ali Karti, in a speech on Friday before the Assembly general.
The Sudanese top diplomat described Washington position as “a very serious precedent in the history of the United Nations", adding "it requires a firm position be taken on this matter" by all the UN membership.
He also called on the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to react against "this denial of legitimate right" and to protect the rights of the member states under the agreement signed with the host country.
The U.S. State Department officials said recently that Bashir’s demand of visa is "pending" stressing that there are different considerations to be taken into account on this regard.
"There are a lot of considerations going into this request, including the outstanding warrant against him (Al-Bashir)" further said Marie Harf, State Department deputy spokesperson on Friday 20 September.
Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court which issued two arrest warrants against him for war crimes and genocide in Darfur.
Rights groups said they would legally seek his arrest if he arrives on American soil, and also the ICC urged the American administration to cooperate with the court and to arrest him.
SUDAN SUMMONS U.S. CHARGÉ D’AFFAIRES
In Khartoum, the foreign affairs ministry summoned the American chargé d’affaires on Friday to formally protest against delaying the issuance of the entry visa for president Bashir to participate in the meetings of the 68th session of the UNGA.
In a statement released on Friday, the foreign ministry said that Ambassador Joseph Stafford was summoned to officially protest the "U.S. administration’s procrastination" in issuing a visa to the Sudanese president.
Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem, deputy undersecretary of the foreign ministry told Stafford that the non-issuance of visa "so far disrupted the vital national interests of the Sudan".
Bashir had to take part in a meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the relations between Sudan and South Sudan, he also wanted to deliver a speech to the UNGA.