The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges of genocide, whilst at the sidelines of the African Union summit reports AP.
Mr Guterres’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed that the secretary-general met with Mr Bashir on grounds of “operational necessity”. Operational necessities allow the UN chief to meet with the Sudanese president “from time to time” he added.
He went on to state “that doesn’t obviate the need, of course, for respect of the International Criminal Court”.
Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour however said that the UN chief had “praised the efforts by Sudan’s government to achieve peace in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan,” according to the AP.
Mr Haq said member states have “their own characterizations of meetings”.
“When we talk about meetings ... it’s not about praise or about compliments. It’s about results,” he added.
See more from AP here.