Sudanese President makes brief Saudi visit

Published April 1st, 2009 - 10:23 GMT

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for a brief pilgrimage, his latest trip abroad in defiance of an international arrest warrant against him, official media said. According to Reuters, it was Bashir's fifth visit to a foreign state since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against him on March 4, accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region of western Sudan.


The official Saudi news agency SPA said Bashir arrived in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah to perform umrah, an Islamic pilgrimage not during the Haj season. Sudanese television and state radio said Bashir flew from Doha after a summit of Arab and Latin American leaders.


Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal has said that issuing the arrest warrant was a politicised decision that "will not lead to the stability of Sudan or solve the Darfur issue".



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