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Sudan’s Bashir visits Damascus, meets Assad: Syrian presidency

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on December 16, 2018 shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L) receiving his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir upon his arrival at the airport in the Syrian capital Damascus/AFP

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, Dec 17 – Sudan’s President Omar al-Bachir visited Damascus on Sunday, the Syrian presidency said, in his first such visit to the war-torn country since the start of the conflict.

“President Omar Hassan al-Bashir… arrived this afternoon on a visit to the Syrian Arab Republic,” the presidency said.

President Bashar al-Assad went to meet his Sudanese counterpart at the Damascus airport on Saturday afternoon, the presidency said.

They discussed the “situations and crises faced by many Arab countries”, it said.

The two leaders also stressed the need to build “new principles for inter-Arab relations based on the respect of the sovereignty of countries and non-interference in internal affairs”.

The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership at the end of 2011 following months of brutal repression of anti-regime demonstrations and an opposition movement supported by Gulf monarchies.

A Sudanese official late Sunday said that Bashir had returned to Khartoum “from an important visit” to the Syrian capital.

The Sudanese president last visited the Syrian capital in 2008 for the Arab League summit which was held there that year.

Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011.

It has since spiralled into a complex conflict involving jihadists including the Islamic State group and world powers.

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The International Criminal Court has issued warrants for Bashir’s arrest over genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

But the Sudanese leader jetted into Jordan last year to attend an annual Arab League summit, and Amman did not arrest him.


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