Sudan’s President Shows Up at Arab Summit
Posted on Mar 30, 2009
Despite the arrest warrant recently issued for him by the International Criminal Court, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has made a defiant move by showing up in Qatar to attend the 21st Arab League summit meeting, at which United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was also slated to appear.
Although The Guardian suggested that al-Bashir’s attendance was somewhat unexpected and potentially embarrassing for the league, Al-Jazeera reported that attendees ended the first day of their meeting on Monday with a show of solidarity for al-Bashir.
His arrival in the Qatari capital, Doha, seemed set to embarrass the Arab League at its annual conference, though the league is also expected publicly to urge the international criminal court to drop the unprecedented charges.
It had been thought until almost the last minute that Bashir would stay away. His presence will be a extraordinary snub to the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who is scheduled to attend today’s opening session.
Last week Bashir paid brief visits to neighbouring Egypt, Libya and non-Arab Eritrea, but his presence in Doha aligns the 22-member league with his pariah status over alleged atrocities in Darfur.
AP photo / Hassan Ammar
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir at the opening session of the Arab Summit in Doha, Qatar, on Monday.