Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Sudan's Bashir to attend Saudi gathering, no word on Trump meeting -minister

Sudan's Bashir to attend Saudi gathering, no word on Trump meeting -minister

Saudi officials close to the king say Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been invited to an upcoming summit in the Saudi capital with President Donald Trump and world leaders from across the Muslim world.

"I can confirm that President Bashir will go the day after tomorrow to Saudi Arabia", Ghandour told reporters in Geneva, declining to confirm whether Bashir would speak with Trump.

Al-Shiekh didn't make any press statements after the meeting leaving room open for interpretation on whether or not he came to extend the invitation to President Omer al-Bashir to attend the American-Islamic summit in Riyadh.

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"In response to rumors recently circulating in the media, US Embassy Khartoum reiterates that the United States has made its position with respect to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's travel clear".

Bashir has evaded arrest since his indictment by the International Criminal Court in 2009 for alleged genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the conflict in Darfur in which at least 300,000 people have been killed.

Mr Bashir's presence adds a complication.

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He has always rejected the charges and refuses to stand trial as his country does not recognise the ICC's jurisdiction. The country is also accused of marginalising non-Arab populations in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions, where conflicts are ongoing.

Despite the recent thaw in relations between Washington and Khartoum, the embassy also pointed out that there has been "no change" to Sudan's inclusion on the US "State Sponsors of Terrorism" list.

In January, Trump's predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, ordered the lifting of a 20-year US trade embargo and financial sanctions after 180 days, provided that Khartoum acts further to improve human rights.

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