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India PM to formally invite Sudanese president to summit

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September 14, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The Indian government notified Khartoum that it is dispatching an envoy with an invitation to president Omar Hassan al-Bashir to participate in the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) which will be held in New Delhi next month.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (AFP)

More than 30 African head of states are expected to take part in the convention scheduled for late October which is aimed at strengthening economic relations between the Indian sub-continent and African countries.

India’s ambassador to Khartoum informed the Sudanese foreign ministry Undersecretary Abdul Ghani al-Naeem in a meeting on Monday that a presidential envoy will arrive in Khartoum soon to hand over the invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The foreign ministry spokesman Ali al-Sadiq told Sudan Tribune that the envoy’s visit will be an opportunity to discuss relations between the two countries adding that Sudan attaches great importance to the upcoming summit.

He said that the Undersecretary also discussed Indian investments in Sudan with the envoy especially in the field of mining.

If Bashir ends up visiting India it would be his first to the southeastern nation since his indictment by the international Criminal Court (ICC) in 2009.

The Deccan Herald newspaper quoted unnamed Indian officials earlier this month as saying that they realize that Washington would not be pleased with New Delhi’s invitation to Bashir.

However they asserted that PM Modi was sending out invitations to all African leaders as a matter of protocol and as such it was not possible to drop anyone. They also argued that India was not a signatory to the Rome Statute which forms the basis of the ICC.

“We have nothing to do with the ICC. We have no obligation to go by what the ICC decides,” a senior official told the newspaper.

The warrant has proved problematic to Bashir in many instances forcing him to cancel his appearances in many regional and international forums.

(ST)

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