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Sudan’s president cancels UN General Assembly visit

NATIONS — Sudan has canceled its president’s appearance at the United Nations meeting of world leaders this week, a UN spokesman said Thursday. Omar al-Bashir would have been the first head of state to address the General Assembly while facing international war crimes and genocide charges.

The United States had made it clear it did not want Bashir in New York, and rights groups had warned they would seek legal action against him if he arrived.

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The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, made a comment on Twitter: ‘‘Historic Charles Taylor judgment today: War crimes and crimes against humanity will not go unpunished. cc #OmarAlBashir.’’

Bashir faces two International Criminal Court indictments for crimes linked to the conflict in the western Darfur region of Sudan.

He had been scheduled to speak Thursday at the United Nations, but Martin Nesirky, spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said Sudan canceled.

But Sudan’s official news agency, SUNA, cited the country’s foreign affairs ministry as saying Bashir’s visa application was still at the US Embassy in Khartoum.

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