Asia

Indonesia defends allowing visit of Sudanese leader

Indonesia has defended its decision to allow Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, a war crimes suspect, into the country for a summit of Muslim nations.

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 because of suspected involvement in crimes against humanity, specific war crimes and genocide. The charges stem from reported atrocities in the conflict in Darfur.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said Indonesia is not an ICC member state and has no legal mechanism or obligation to arrest al-Bashir.

The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta said it was "concerned" by al-Bashir's travel to Indonesia for a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Like Indonesia, the U.S. is not a party to the Rome Statute treaty that established the ICC.