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Arab FMs meet on Sudan, ICC disputes
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11:18, July 20, 2008

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Arab foreign ministers held an emergency meeting here on Saturday on the dispute between Sudan and the International Criminal Court (ICC) after ICC chief prosecutor issued an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes.

During the meeting at the headquarters of the Cairo-based Arab League (AL), the Arab foreign ministers are expected to forge a clear stance on the disputes between Sudan and the ICC.

Ahead of the emergency meeting of the AL Council, the Arab ministers held consultative talks attended by AL Secretary General Amr Moussa on the latest developments between Sudan and the international court.

The AL Council will consider political moves to settle the crisis and legal options to deal with the decision of the ICC prosecutor, the Egyptian state MENA news agency quoted Arab diplomatic sources as saying.

The council will seek to ask the UN Security Council to annul its decision to refer the Darfur issue to the ICC, or suspend all investigation procedures for a year, to avoid further deterioration of the situation in Darfur, added the sources.

On Monday, 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.

Sudan, which is not a member of the ICC, has rejected the ICC allegations against its president, dismissing them as "null and false" and maintaining that the ICC has no jurisdiction over Sudan.

But the UN Security Council decided in March 2005 to refer the Darfur issue to the ICC, a decision opposed by Sudan, which insisted on its own prosecution.

On Friday, the Sudanese government also ruled out a settlement deal with the ICC on handing over two accused Sudanese officials in return for dropping the warrant arrest against al-Bashir.

Source: Xinhua

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