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Jordan dissents from Arab position on ICC warrant for Sudan’s Bashir

March 23, 2009 (AMMAN) — The Jordanian government reiterated that it will fulfill its obligations under the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC) despite the arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

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Jordan is one of three Arab states along with Djibouti and Comoros Island which are members of the ICC. Hypothetically each of these countries are required to apprehend Bashir if he arrives on their territory.

However officials from Djibouti and Comoros Island told the London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper that they have no attention of arrest Bashir despite being signatories to the Rome Statute.

All three states have signed off on an Arab League statement last year saying that they “reject any politicization of the principles of international justice”.

This month the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa from the Syrian capital said that his organization as well as Qatar which will host the Arab summit next week received a cooperation request from the ICC but turned it down.

Moussa also said that this is the position of all 22 members of the Arab League.

But today a senior Jordanian official speaking to the Kuwaiti based Al-Jarida newspaper on condition of anonymity made remarks conflicting with those of the Arab League Secretary General.

“We in Jordan wonder, how we would bring Israeli leaders to the ICC following the aggression on Gaza and demand non-execution of the court’s decisions?” the official asked.

Yesterday the Jordanian State minister for media and communication Nabil Al-Sharif said that his government “is committed to the international treaties and conventions it signed with international organizations and commissions”.

On the same day the head of the Jordanian parliament Abdel-Hadi Al-Magali urged Sudan “to present [evidence] to refute claims of the ICC”.

“The Jordanian legislative body is committed to its position in rejecting any aggression against Sudan” Al-Magali told the Sudanese ambassador to Amman.

He expressed hope that Sudan “will formulate an advanced political position to the UN Security Council (UNSC)”.

“The Sudanese cause is just but needs special effort that will prevent intervention by foreign powers in the internal affairs of Sudan” Al-Magali added.

The Jordanian position represents a clear departure from that of other Arab states including heavy weights Egypt and Saudi Arabia which criticized the ICC move.

Jordan is one of the very active states at the ICC Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein was the first President of the ICC Assembly of States Parties from 2002-2005.

(ST)