Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will not attend a gathering in Saudi Arabia on Saturday where U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to make his first international trip, state news agency SUNA said on Friday.
The agency said al-Bashir will not be attending the summit for “special reasons,” but did not specify what those reasons were. He assigned his Minister of State Taha Al Hussein to attend the summit in Riyadh on his behalf.
Al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and is shunned by Western leaders.
On Wednesday, Sudan’s foreign minister had said that al-Bashir would be attending a gathering in Saudi Arabia where leaders from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are due to meet.
Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Saturday is the first stop on his maiden international trip as President that will also take him to Israel and Europe.
(Reporting by Ali Mirghani; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Toby Davis)