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Sudan's wanted president visits Egypt

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:37 AM EDT, Mon September 17, 2012
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, left, meets with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, in Cairo, Egypt.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, left, meets with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, in Cairo, Egypt.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sudan's president has been accused of war crimes and genocide
  • Amnesty International has called for his arrest during a visit to Egypt
  • Egypt says it's following African Union policy by ignoring an arrest warrant

(CNN) -- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy met with Sudan's wanted President Omar al-Bashir in Cairo on Sunday as the Egyptian government dismissed calls for the visiting leader's arrest.

The International Criminal Court has demanded al-Bashir's arrest on charges of war crimes. The human rights group Amnesty International urged Egypt before the visit to either cancel the Sudanese leader or arrest him.

But Morsy spokesman Yasser Ali told the state-run Middle East News Agency that Egypt isn't a member of the ICC, the permanent U.N. war-crimes tribunal. And he said Egypt is following the lead of the African Union, which has urged its members not to cooperate with the tribunal in seeking al-Bashir's arrest.

Al-Bashir landed in Cairo on Sunday for a two-day visit. His talks with Morsy included regional concerns as well as bread-and-butter issues like livestock imports, industrial development and water rights in the Nile River basin, Ali said.

The ICC has called for al-Bashir's arrest on 10 counts of genocide and crimes against humanity, accusing him of masterminding attempts to wipe out African tribes in the Sudanese territory of Darfur in a campaign of murder, rape and deportation. In a statement issued Friday, Amnesty warned Egypt would become "a safe haven for alleged perpetrators of genocide" unless it took the Sudanese leader into custody.

"In his first address, President Morsy said that Egypt's values and identity would uphold humanitarian values, especially in freedom and human rights. How can he now shake hands with a man wanted for genocide?" asked Marek Marczynski, Amnesty's campaign manager for international justice.

In June, Malawi dropped plans to host an African Union summit because the organization wanted al-Bashir to attend. Malawi signed the Rome Statute that created the ICC, and President Joyce Banda said her country couldn't welcome al-Bashir because of the warrant.

CNN's Amir Ahmed contributed to this report.

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