Washington — The United Nations minimized the importance of a meeting between Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir and the U.N. Secretary general Ban Ki-moon in Teheran.
Sudan's foreign minister Ali Karti said Thursday that Ban Ki-moon discussed with Al-Bashir the unresolved issues and the map drawn by the African Union to establish a buffer zone on the common border with the South Sudan.
But Farhan Haq, U.N. secretary-general associate spokesperson, on Friday told reporters that it was about "brief greeting" on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement conference .
Asked whether the Secretary-General had met with Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir while in Iran, the Spokesperson said that "they had a brief greeting and handshake."
Sudan's Darfur region has the largest United Nations peacekeeping mission in the world, UNAMID but Ban Ki-moon seeks to avoid meeting its president since Bashir's indictment by the International Criminal Court with genocide, war crimes and crimes against the humanity.
Khartoum is not a State Party to the ICC, but the United Nations Security Council referred the case of Darfur in 2005 to the war crimes court following the death of 300.000 people in a counter insurgency campaign organised by the government army and its allied militias.