Eritrea has invited Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir to make
an official visit, in defiance of an international court's move to arrest Sudan's
president for alleged crimes against humanity.
Eritrea's foreign minister, Osman Saleh,
delivered the invitation from President Isaias Afewerki to Bashir during
a meeting in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Tuesday.
Eritrea's information minister, Ali Abdu, told the Tigrigna and Amharic
services that Bashir has accepted the invitation, but that a date for the visit
has not been set. Ali Abdu said, "the ICC allegation violates Sudanese
sovereignty and territorial integrity, and hence it is unjustified, and
unacceptable and totally unwarranted." He said, "External politics would not
solve Sudanese problem, but comprehensive and lasting solution on the basis of
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Bashir last week.
Prosecutors accuse him of being behind a campaign of murder, rape and other
crimes against civilians in Darfur, where Sudan's government has been fighting
rebels since 2003.
Mr. Bashir and other Sudanese officials have said they will not cooperate with
the court, which they describe as a tool of Western imperialism.
The United Nations says the fighting and related unrest in Darfur has killed
more than 200,000 people and displaced more than 2.5 million others. Sudan puts the death toll at about 10,000.