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Sudan's wanted leader is welcomed in Egypt

EGYPT welcomed Sudan's president yesterday, despite an warrant seeking his arrest on charges of war crimes.

Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's wanted leader, was making his first high-profile journey abroad since the warrant was issued on March 4 by the International Criminal Court.

He was emboldened by the 22-nation Arab League's decision not to act on the warrant, though three of its member countries are signatories to the court's founding treaty.

Al-Bashir is also planning to attend an Arab summit in Qatar at the end of the month, though its prime minister says the country is under pressure not to host him.

The visit to Egypt was another show of defiance by al-Bashir, who responded to the arrest warrant by expelling 13 international aid groups from Darfur.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak received al-Bashir at Cairo's airport along in a show of solidarity with the Sudanese leader.

The two leaders discussed the search for a resolution to the Darfur conflict.

Egypt is not a signatory to the ICC's founding treaty, and both it and the Arab League have backed Sudan's leader, arguing that acting on the warrant would further destabilize the country.


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