[dehai-news] (ST) Sudan considers expelling French ambassador: official

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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Tue Mar 17 2009 - 16:17:40 EST

Sudan considers expelling French ambassador: official
Tuesday 17 March 2009 05:30.
March 16, 2009 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government reacted angrily to
remarks by French official yesterday voicing support to any operation
aimed at arresting embattled president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.
Yesterday Eric Chevallier, spokesman of the French foreign ministry
suggested that his government is prepared to assist in efforts to
apprehend Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC)
on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which include
murder, rape and torture.
"France as many other countries are members of the Rome Statute. There
are clear obligations on executing arrest warrant for Bashir" Chevallier
told the Saudi owned Al-Sharq Al-Awsat in an interview.
The French official said that the majority of the European Union (EU)
countries "are pushing towards having ICC members and non-members to
assist the court in executing the arrest warrant for Sudanese president
especially if he flies to Qatar".
Sudan announced that Bashir will attend the Arab summit to be held later
this month in the Arab Gulf state of Qatar.
The Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson Ali Al-Sadiq told reporters
that Khartoum takes Chevallier statements "seriously".
"Hijacking planes is against laws and a crime.Any country engaging in
such behavior will be in violation of international law and a threat
that will negatively impact relations between states" Al-Sadiq said.
"France has always been in the camp of states hostile to Sudan and a
supporter to US sabotage policies so this position does not come as a
surprise to us" he added.
Al-Sadiq also said that Sudan and Qatar are in close contact over
security arrangements related to Bashir's trip to Doha.
A senior Sudanese presidential official told the London based Dar
Al-Hayat newspaper said that Khartoum is contemplating declaring French
envoy Patrick Nicoloso 'persona non-grata' over Chevallier's comments.
France has became a frequent target of criticism by Sudanese officials
including Bashir particularly after failing to convince Paris to support
a suspension of charges made by the ICC.
Relations between the two countries have also been troubled over the
presence of Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur chairman of Sudan Liberation Movement
(SLM) in Paris despite demands by Khartoum that he be expelled.
In Saudi Arabia the Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Ismail blasted
France saying that the latter "excels in lying and deception and does
not respect international norms".
Ismail said that France has released the members of the aid groups who
kidnapped the Chadian children in 2007 after Ndjamena handed them over
to complete their sentence there.
Recently the Sudanese Media Center (SMC) website with close links to
intelligence services accused France and Chad of supplying weapons to
Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
Sudan and Chad trade accusations of supporting respective rebel
movements since 2005. Libya Saudi Arabia and Senegal brokered three
non-aggression pacts between the two neighboring countries which has
done little to stem tensions between the two neighbors.
France has consistently urged Sudan to work on mending relations with
its former colony.

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