Wanted Sudan leader Bashir attends Turkey’s Islamic summit

Bashir was among leaders who responded to a call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to attend an emergency summit
Omar al-Bashir warmly greeted by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Thursday, 14 December 2017 04:10

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted on charges of genocide and war crimes, attended Wednesday an emergency summit of the world's main pan-Islamic group in İstanbul.

Bashir was among leaders who responded to a call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to attend the meeting after US President Donald Trump outraged the world with his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, AFP reported.

Sudan's deadly conflict in Darfur broke out in 2003 when ethnic minority groups took up arms against Bashir's Arab-dominated government, which launched a brutal counter-insurgency. The UN says at least 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million displaced as a result of the conflict. the report said.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide and war crimes related to the conflict, charges he denies. 

Erdoğan had while serving as prime minister in November 2009 defended Bashir against the charges, saying "a Muslim could not commit genocide, he is not capable of it". However, Bashir scrapped a plan that month to attend an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Turkey after the EU pressured Ankara over his attendance. Turkey at the time pointed out it is not a signatory to the treaty, which set up the Hague-based ICC. 

Wednesday's meeting is the first time that Bashir has visited Turkey since that controversy, and there have been no reports of such pressure concerning his current appearance.