Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Monday began a four-day visit to China, reported International Business Times, oblivious of a warrant for his arrest issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Previously the Sudanese foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour had told the Voice of America that “Sudan is on the list of the top countries in Africa that are economically dealing with China. China supported Sudan in its very dark days when Sudan was let down by the US, including extracting Sudanese oil. China helps Sudan in oil refinery and other economic issues”. He added, “Right now China and Sudan are actually having excellent relations, and this is how Sudan and President Bashir have been invited to China.”
China is not a signatory to the ICC, as the VOA report pointed out.
In a related development Anadolu Agency announced that US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, had ended his two-day visit to Khartoum on Friday.
Booth was there to declare that the US was lifting a number of its sanctions on Sudan, in place since 1997, on key agricultural products such as sesame and gum guar.
The envoy did not meet with the Sudanese President, however, only the minister of foreign affairs, minister of finance, the governor of the central bank and the Sudanese First Vice President Bakri Hassan Salih.
The deputy chairman of the Sudanese Union of Business Youssef Ahmed, who also held talks with Booth, said that they discussed the effect of the sanctions consequences on the Sudanese economy.
“Some fields such as transportation, banking, quality control, oil, construction and communication have been badly affected by these sanctions,” he added.