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Al-Bashir given “red-carpet welcome” in Qatar

Omar al-Bahsir, foreground, and the Emir of Qatar

Omar al-Bahsir, foreground, and the Emir of Qatar

Brian Murphy over at The Huffington Post reports:

Qatar’s leader embraced Sudan’s president in a red-carpet welcome Sunday as he arrived to attend an Arab Summit in his most brazen act of defiance against an international arrest warrant on charges of war crimes in Darfur.

For host Qatar _ a key U.S. ally that is home to American warplanes and more than 5,000 U.S. troops _ the Arab League meeting beginning Monday also showcases its desire to stake out a prominent role in regional affairs even at the risk of angering the West.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had promised to attend the 22-nation gathering after assurances from members they would not enforce the International Criminal Court’s arrest order issued March 4. But his lavish arrival sent an apparent message that al-Bashir will have a center stage role at the two-day meeting.

Wearing a traditional Sudanese robe and white turban, a smiling al-Bashir was greeted at the airport with an embrace and kiss by Qatar’s emir. They later had coffee with the head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa.

Sad. Of course, I did not expected the Emir to arrest him, but was this an excessive welcome?

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Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.