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Presence of Sudanese Leader Brings Spotlight on Doha Conference

Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir arrived in Doha to a royal welcome by the emir of Qatar and has been the focus of more attention than the conference he came to participate in. Although in the Gulf to attend the conference of the Arab League, Al-Bashir has gained celebrity status since the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of war crimes. Stopping first in Egypt, Eritrea and Libya, Al-Bashir    was seemingly flouting the ICC’s impotence in his part of the world. Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad injected a note of Arab nationalism when he called on the League to embrace the case of Al-Bashir, which he said was an attempt to “weaken the Arabs.” The lengths the emir of Qatar went to in personally extending an invitation to Al-Bashir to come to Doha is viewed by many as a deliberate slap in the face for the United States, which has a military presence in Qatar.