Bashir denied US visa; Sudan angry

Updated 29 September 2013

Bashir denied US visa; Sudan angry

KHARTOUM: The Sudanese Foreign Ministry summoned the US charge d’affaires in Khartoum to protest Washington’s failure to grant a visa to the country’s president, who faces war crimes charges, media reported Saturday.
President Omar Bashir requested the visa to attend the UN General Assembly in New York. The charges are linked to the bloody conflict in the Darfur region.
“It is with deep regret that I inform you of the refusal of the authorities of the United States, the host government, to give an entry visa to President Bashir and his delegation,” Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti told the UN General Assembly. He slammed the US for what he called “a serious violation of the principles and purposes set forth in the Charter of the United Nations.”
“No change — visa application is still processing,” a US official told AFP.
But Karti accused the US administration of violating the “headquarters agreement of the United Nations signed in December 1946.”
“This unjustified and unacceptable action is a very serious precedent in the history of the United Nations,” Karti said, calling on UN chief Ban Ki-moon to “protect the rights” of all member countries.


Joint US military drills get thumbs down from Thais amid coronavirus fears

Updated 2 min 23 sec ago

Joint US military drills get thumbs down from Thais amid coronavirus fears

  • Some 106 American soldiers will join three separate exercises from Aug. 18 to 30
  • ‘Is it really necessary to take in foreign soldiers now? If it does not impact the relationship just postpone it’
BANGKOK: This month’s joint US-Thai military exercises in Thailand have drawn criticism from Thais on social media after authorities announced that dozens of visiting American troops would be undergoing their mandatory 14-day quarantine in Bangkok hotels.
Some 106 American soldiers will join three separate exercises from Aug. 18 to 30 in three provinces and would be subjected to the same requirements as anyone entering the country, said the head of the Thai Army’s anti-COVID-19 Unit, Nattapon Srisawat.
Thailand has been over two months without a local transmission and has kept infections to just over 3,300.
It has closed borders and airspace to tourists to keep the virus out and allows entry only to Thai repatriates or foreigners with special permission. All must undergo quarantine.
A popular Thai Facebook page attracted 25,000 likes when it questioned the necessity of holding joint exercises between the two historic allies amid a global health crisis.
“Is it really necessary to take in foreign soldiers now? If it does not impact the relationship just postpone it,” it said.
“Even citizens who need to travel have delayed their plans, why can’t the military training be postponed?”
More than 70 American soldiers arrived from the US Pacific territory of Guam on Monday and would be staying in alternative state quarantine, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the country’s coronavirus task force, referring to the mandatory quarantine that foreigners must undergo at their own expense.
More troops were due to arrive on Tuesday from Japan.
Asked about the criticism of the drills, Nattapon said that participants will have undergone two tests and would not be exposed to the public during the exercises.
“These soldiers will not be able leave the barracks,” he added.
The exercises come as Thailand’s military suspended sending forces abroad after nine Thai personnel tested positive for the coronavirus upon return from training in Hawaii.
The US embassy in Bangkok did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.