AJC Criticizes Red Carpet Welcome for Bashir in Qatar

March 30, 2009

NEW YORK, March 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AJC is gravely distressed by the lavish welcome afforded to Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir, whose arrest on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes is sought by the International Criminal Court, at the Arab League summit in Qatar.

“Welcoming an accused mass murderer with a kiss on the red carpet is morally repugnant,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “This action is unworthy of the role as a respected regional mediator to which Qatar aspires.”

Bashir, who stands accused of supporting both Sudanese army and air force units and irregular militias in the assault on Darfur, which has now entered its sixth year, was warmly embraced by the Emir upon his arrival in Doha. The foreign ministers of Arab League member states have reportedly agreed upon a resolution at the summit rejecting the ICC’s warrant. The Arab League’s stance reflects a similar position adopted by the African Union, three of whose members — Libya, Egypt and Eritrea, who are also members of the Arab League — have also received Bashir since the ICC warrant was issued. Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, who addressed the summit, criticized Sudan’s decision to expel aid agencies from Darfur in the wake of the warrant’s release.

Harris said, “The Arab League claims to be concerned with human rights and human suffering, yet it circles the wagons around Bashir in a shocking display of indifference to the people of Darfur. The next time its members issue wild accusations about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, we’ll know their real motive is simply to demonize Israel.”

SOURCE American Jewish Committee

Source: newswire

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