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Sudan’s Bashir to attend India-Africa summit in New Delhi: sources

June 24, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has been invited to third India-Africa summit which will be held in New Delhi between 26 to 30 October, an African diplomatic source disclosed.

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President Omer al-Bashir disembarks from the plane, after attending an AU conference in Johannesburg South Africa, at the Khartoum airport June 15, 2015. (Photo Reuters/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

The Turkish news agency Anadolu quoted an anonymous source Wednesday as saying that India would invite Bashir along with 53 African leaders to attend the third India-Africa summit.

The same source added that the summit will be held on 29 October, noting that the African Union (AU) stipulates that invitation must be extended to all African presidents without exception to the cooperation summits between Africa and the other continents.

The source pointed that the AU fell out with the European Union (EU) several times when the latter required that the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mogabi, must be excluded from participating in European-African cooperation summit.

“Some countries require that invitations must not be extended to presidents wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) such as Bashir,” added the source.

According to the source, Bashir’s participation in this summit would be more secure than South Africa because India is not a member of the ICC.

“Another reason why Bashir would not fear the possibility of arrest is that all the countries he would have to cross from Sudan to India are ones that have amicable relations with Sudan," the source added.

The Sudanese president closely escaped being arrested and being turned over to the ICC while attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg earlier this month.

Bashir’s attendance drew widespread controversy both inside and outside South Africa given his status as an individual wanted by the ICC for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed in Darfur since 2003.

The India-Africa summit is expected to be attended by nearly 1,000 delegates, including heads of state, ministers, government officials, business leaders and others.

The summit was originally scheduled for December 2014, but was postponed due to the Ebola scare.

(ST)