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Sudan envoy to visit Moscow to discuss al-Bashir arrest warrant

RIA Novosti

31/03/2009 14:41 MOSCOW, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - The special envoy for the leader of Sudan will arrive in Moscow on a two-day visit on April 2 to discuss President Omar al-Bashir's arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court, as well as Sudanese-Russian relations.

Russia has joined Arab countries in criticizing the arrest warrant for al-Bashir, who faces charges of war crimes in committed in Darfur, saying the ongoing dispute threatens to harm relations between the West and the Arab world.

Envoy Awad Ahmed al-Jaz, who is also Sudan's finance minister, is expected to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Mikhail Margelov, who heads the Federation Council's foreign affairs committee and is the president's special representative on Sudan.

The envoy will also deliver a message from President al-Bashir to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The Sudanese president is currently in Qatar for the ongoing Arab League summit. In a draft communique issued on Monday, the Arab leaders said they considered the warrant to be in violation of the 1961 Vienna agreement.

The International Criminal Court accuses al-Bashir of criminal responsibility for "intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property."

The warrant is the first ever to have been issued by the ICC for a serving head of state.


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