Syria denounces ICC’s move against Sudanese president

By Xinhua,

Damascus : Syria has denounced the accusations made by the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the official Tishreen newspaper reported on Thursday.

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Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem made the denunciation during a meeting with Sudanese ambassador in Damascus Abdul Rahman Dirar, said the paper.

Muallem said that this procedure didn’t fall under the ICC’s authorities or jurisdiction as it bypassed its powers in forwarding accusations against an elected president of a republic who enjoys immunity, it added.

“This procedure is a serious unprecedented incident in the history of international relations and should not be allowed to be passed, particularly as it aims at destabilizing the situation in Sudan and thwarting attempts to establish peace in Darfur,” he said.

Muallem had made a phone call with Chairman of the African Union Commission (AUC) Jean Ping and expressed appreciation of the AUC’s stance in condemning the ICC chief prosecutor’s move.

The two sides also discussed means to exert concerted Arab and African efforts to stand by the “brotherly country of Sudan”, said the daily.

On Monday, the Hague-based ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo formally requested an arrest warrant against al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.

It was the first time that the ICC charges a sitting head of state, a move decried by Khartoum as undermining peace efforts in the region.

Sudan, which is not a member of the ICC, has rejected the ICC allegations against President Bashir, dismissing them as “null and false” and maintaining the ICC has no jurisdiction over Sudan.