US opposes Sudan leader’s planned China visit
Posted by Author on June 27, 2011
WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday signaled opposition to a visit to China by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is accused of war crimes.
Bashir, after a reported delay, is due to visit China on Tuesday amid outrage from rights groups that Beijing would host a man wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity during Sudan’s civil war.
“We continue to oppose invitations, facilitation, support for travel by ICC indictees,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.
“We have a longstanding policy of strongly urging other nations to do the same,” she said.
“We have urged China to join the international community in its call for Sudan to cooperate fully with the ICC,” in line with UN Security Council resolution 1593, Nuland said.
The ICC has issued arrest warrants for Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sudan’s western Darfur region, where about 300,000 people have died since 2003.
He is the first sitting head of state to be targeted by an ICC warrant.
ICC statutes dictate that any member country should arrest Bashir if he visits. China is not a party to those statutes.
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