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Sudanese president abruptly cancels trip to Islamic meeting in Kazakhstan

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Sudan's President Omer al-Bashir leaving Khartoum airport to Morocco on a private visit on 3 August 2017 (ST Photo)

September 7, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir unexpectedly cancelled a planned visit to Kazakhstan on Saturday to attend the first summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on science and technology.

Earlier on Thursday, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told reporters that President al-Bashir will travel to Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana for the two-day Islamic meeting on 10-11- September.

He added that he will meet with the Kazakh leadership to discuss a number of bilateral issues between the two countries, especially in the field of economic cooperation.

However, late on Thursday, the Sudanese presidency announced that communication minister Mrs Tahani Abdallah will lead Sudan’s delegation to Astana representing al-Bashir.

Officials at the presidency explained to Sudan Tribune that the last-minute change was decided due to the lower-level of heads of delegations representing the countries participating in the summit.

On 31 August, the International Criminal Court (ICC) sent a request to the Republic of Kazakhstan, which is not a state member, calling for cooperation in the arrest and surrender of the Sudanese president who is wanted by the war crimes court.

The ICC issued two arrest warrants against al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.

More than 20 Arab and Islamic countries will participate in the summit which will discuss scientific and technical issues and strategies for the next 10 years.

The meeting is expected to confirm the inclusion of strategies endorsed by the conference in their national policies and development plans.

(ST)

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