Arab summit rejects arrest warrant for Bashir
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-31 05:39:03   Print

Backgrounder: Arab League and Arab League summit

    by Xinhua writers Huang Fuhui and Hu Dandan

    DOHA, March 30 (Xinhua) ¨C Leaders attending the 21st Arab League (AL) annual summit ended the meeting here Monday with the adoption of a final communiqu¨¦ on joint rejection of the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, inter-Arab reconciliation and the Middle East peace process.

    TOTAL REJECTION OF ARREST WARRANT FOR BASHIR

    Announcing the end of the Doha summit, AL Secretary General Amr Moussa read the text of the final communique, saying the Arab leaders attending the summit reached an agreement on rejecting the arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Bashir for his alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir attends the opening session of the Arab summit in Doha March 30, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    Moussa said the Arab leaders also support continuation of talks between the Sudanese government and anti-government groups on Darfur under the mediation of Qatar.

    The communique means a formal rejection of the international war crimes charges brought by the ICC against Bashir. The rejection was widely expected after many Arab leaders denounced the ICC's arrest warrant for Bashir, which was issued on March 4.

Leaders attending the 21st Arab League (AL) annual summit ended the meeting here Monday with the adoption of a final communiqu¨¦ on joint rejection of the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, inter-Arab reconciliation and the Middle East peace process.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (C) attends the closing session of the Arab League summit in Doha, capital of Qatar, on Monday evening, March 30, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)
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    "We emphasis our solidarity with Sudan and our dismissal and rejection of the decision handed down by the International Criminal Court," Moussa quoted the communiqu¨¦ as saying. He said that the decision to arrest Bashir was aimed "at undermining the unity and stability of Sudan".

    The United Nations estimates that at least 300,000 people have died, mainly as a result of diseases and hunger, since fighting broke out in Darfur ¨C a south Sudan region ¨C between black Africans and Arab militia alleged to have links to the Sudanese government in 2003. The Sudanese government has dismissed the U.N.'s account of deaths in Darfur, saying about 10,000 people have died.

Leaders attending the 21st Arab League (AL) annual summit ended the meeting here Monday with the adoption of a final communiqu¨¦ on joint rejection of the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, inter-Arab reconciliation and the Middle East peace process.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir attends the closing session of the Arab League summit in Doha, capital of Qatar, on Monday evening, March 30, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)
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    MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS The communiqu¨¦ says the Arab leaders expressed support to the Palestinian people in face of Israeli aggression and calls on the Palestinians to realize national unity. It urges Israel to stop unilateral policies, end the siege of Gaza and stop settlement activities.

    The Arab leaders said there is a need to identify a specific timetable for Israel to fulfill its obligation towards the peace process, according to the communiqu¨¦.

    "We call for an end to Israeli aggression, ending the siege, reopening the crossings and emphasize that we hold Israel accountable and legally liable for all the crimes perpetrated," Moussa said.

    According to the communiqu¨¦, the Arab leaders have agreed to establish a legal committee to seek the prosecution of Israeli leaders over Israel's 22-day bombardment of the Gaza Strike in December 2008, in which more than 1,300 Palestinians were killed.

    The Arab leaders also called for the international community to help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East region and work towards a "weapons-free zone".

Leaders attending the 21st Arab League (AL) annual summit ended the meeting here Monday with the adoption of a final communiqu¨¦ on joint rejection of the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, inter-Arab reconciliation and the Middle East peace process.

Secretary General Amr Moussa speaks to reporters during a press conference following the end of the Arab League summit in Doha, capital of Qatar, on Monday evening, March 30, 2009. The 21st Arab League summit ended here Monday ahead of schedule with Secretary General Amr Moussa reading a final communique, which says the Arab leaders attending the summit reached an agreement on rejecting the arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.(Xinhua/Zhang Ning)
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    Moussa explained that this would oblige Israel to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and open its facilities to international inspection. Israel is widely believed to have a nuclear weapons program, but has never admitted. INTER-ARAB RECONCILIATION The final communiqu¨¦ calls on the Arab world to realize reconciliation as soon as possible.

    The communiqu¨¦ stresses that inter-Arab differences should be solved through constructive dialogue and the leaders will commit themselves to solidarity and integrity of all Arab countries.

    In an interview with Xinhua, the Kuwaiti King's security advisor Sheikh Fahad al-Sabah said, ¡°No doubt that the Arab world has reached reconciliation in this summit.¡± He said the final communique issued at the end of the summit was ¡°very practical¡± since it deals with many problems that the Arab world faces.

    In a separate interview with Xinhua, Mohmoud Ali, a reporter of Arabia satellite channel, said although the scheduled two-day meeting has been cut short by one day, the leaders have achieved their expectations for ironing out their differences.

    The Arab world has long been mired in an awkward state of division, and their rifts only widened over how to deal with Israel¡¯s three-week bombardment of the Gaza Strip, with some nations calling for tough actions but others opting for a more moderate approach. The split between the so-called "moderate camps" represented by Saudi Arabia and Egypt and the hardliners represented by Syria was highlighted after Egypt and Saudi Arabia stayed away from an emergency summit called by Qatar in January.

    The Doha summit, previously scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, opened here earlier Monday. It was attended by Bashir, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, United Arab Emirates President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, among other regional leaders.

    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, along with leaders of five other AL member states, stayed away from the summit, taking the shine off the summit. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, AL Secretary General Moussa, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addressed the meeting.

    The communiqu¨¦ also stress the Arab role of Iraq. But it did not mention if the next summit will be held in Iraq or not, which Iraq has said it is willing to host.

Qatari Emir says Arab world faces new challenges

    DOHA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, in an address to the opening ceremony of the 21st Arab League summit that opened here Monday, said that the Arab world faces new challenges ranging from financial affairs to peace and development.

    The financial crisis is the most important challenges that the Arab world faces as well as the whole world, he said, urging the Arab world to pay attention to it since "the Arab world has kept it away from their issues." Full story

21st Arab League summit opens on Middle East peace, relations, Sudan

    DOHA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The 21st Arab League (AL) summit opened here on Monday to discuss a package of major issues, including the Palestinian cause, the peace process in the Middle East, improvement of inter-Arab relations and the situation in Sudan in light of the International Criminal Court's (ICC's) arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Full story

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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