October 13, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir arrived in Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage season, Sudan state media said.
- FILE - Saudi Prince Khaled al-Faisal (R), also the Governor of Mecca, and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir pray close to the Black Stone at the Kaaba inside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca January 2, 2010. (REUTERS)
Bashir was received at the coastal city of Jeddah and Saudi officials along with members of the Sudanese embassy and Khartoum’s Hajj mission there.
This is the first trip by the Sudanese leader to the oil-rich Arab Gulf state since August when Riyadh barred his plane from passing its airspace on his way to Tehran for the inauguration ceremony of president Hassan Rouhani.
Saudi Arabia denied that the incident was politically motivated and insisted that Bashir’s plane did not seek prior clearance despite Sudanese insistence to the contrary.
This week the International Criminal Court (ICC) judges asked the court’s registrar to request the cooperation of Saudi authorities in the arrest of Bashir who is wanted on ten counts of genocides, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
This is the first time the court transmits such a request to Saudi Arabia which is not a signatory to the court’s treaty.