12 July 2018

Sudan: Al Bashir Bound for FIFA World Cup Final in Moscow

Khartoum / Moscow — Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir will travel to Moscow on Friday at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bashir will hold talks with Putin and also attend the final match of the FIFA World Cup soccer in Moscow.

The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reports that the talks between Bashir and Putin will concern bilateral relations and ways of boosting them further.

Bashir will also attend the conclusion of the World Cup as one of 25 heads of state invited by Putin.

As Russia is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, the country is under no obligation to execute the international arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Al Bashir for genocide and crimes against humanity which have made travel difficult for the Sudanese President.

Sudan's relationship with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has been tenuous. In July 2017, FIFA decided to lift the suspension of the international football activities of Sudan after the Sudanese prime minister followed the will of the world's football body. The government of Sudan had to pledge to FIFA in writing not to interfere again in the affairs of the Sudanese football.

In February, the World Cup itself touched down in Khartoum as part of a pre-tournament tour of 51 countries.

Entourage

Al Bashir will be accompanied by the Deputy Chairman of the Higher Committee for Sudan Relations with BRICS Countries, Dr Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz, the Minister of Presidency of the Republic, Dr Fadul Abdalla Fadul, the Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Awad Ibn Auf and the State Minister and Director of the President's Offices, Hatim Hassan Bakhit.

The talks between the two Presidents will focus on the economic relations, establishing a strategic partnership for development, enhancement of the joint cooperation in the political and economic fields, increasing investment opportunities, especially the in the areas of agriculture and power and implementation of the Russian-supported programme of modernisation of the Sudanese army.

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