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Sudan’s Bashir considers attending Non-Aligned summit in Venezuela

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August 16, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro Tuesday has invited Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir to attend the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement that will be hosted by his country next month

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Sudan’s President Omer Hassan al-Bashir, left, is welcomed by Indian foreign minister Vijay Kumar Singh as he arrives for the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, October 28, 2015. (Photo AP/Saurabh Das)

Leaders of the 120 non-aligned countries will meet in Caracas from 13 to 18 September.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim Ghandour, informed the Venezuelan Ambassador to Sudan, Anibal Marquez, who handed the invitation, that Sudanese government would consider the participation of President al- Bashir or one of his deputies in the summit.

However, it is not clear if President al-Bashir would take part in this summit as the Venezuela is a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued two arrest warrants against President al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.

According to a statement released by the Sudanese foreign ministry, Ambassador Marquez commended the bilateral relations between the two countries, and pointed to the importance of Sudan’s participation, as one of the founders of Non-Aligned Movement in 1960.

For his part, Ghandour confirmed Sudan’s participation in the upcoming summit, and commended Venezuela’s support to Sudan in the UN Security Council.

A-Bashir is the first sitting head of state charged by the Hague based court since its inception in 2002.

However, he has continued to travel freely in Africa and Asia, defying the ICC arrest warrants.

(ST)

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