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Sudan confirms participation in Islamic–US summit with Trump

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the joint Sudan and Saudi Arabia air force drill in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April, 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the joint Sudan and Saudi Arabia air force drill in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April, 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]

The Sudanese president will attend the Islamic-American conference due to be held on Sunday in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh but may not have talks with US President Donald Trump face to face, an official close to the presidency told MEMO today.

The official from the Sudan Media Centre (SMC) told MEMO that the invitation had been received from Saudi Arabia and that Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir would be joining over 50 Arab and Islamic leaders for the meeting with the American president at the weekend.

The official said:

There’s a strong likelihood that there will be some sort of meeting with the American president and the [Sudanese] president but it is not clear at this moment how that might happen; there is a strong possibility it could be via a third party like the UAE or the Saudi government.

Al-Bashir’s proposed visit has come under sharp criticism from rights groups and from the US State Department.

Read: US contributes $95m in food assistance in Sudan

An unnamed official who spoke to AP said, “The United States opposes governments inviting anyone subject to outstanding ICC arrest warrants, including Al-Bashir, and has made its position clear.”

Last weekend, diplomats from the US and several other western nations reportedly stayed away from or walked out of a major gathering in Doha, Qatar to protest Al-Bashir’s participation.

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