Monday, July 27, 2015

Messy diplomacy

One unusual feature of President Obama's east Africa visit is that he met with a former International Criminal Court indictee, President Uhuru Kenyatta (the charges were dropped). Now while in Addis Ababa he had a regional meeting on South Sudan, and (via Reuters) --

Those at the talks also include Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibarahim Ghandour and the African Union's Dlamini Zuma.

Since three presidents were there (Obama, Museveni, and Kenyatta), the presence of the Sudanese foreign minister was an obvious wheeze to avoid the formal presence of current ICC indictee, Omar al-Bashir. It's a recognition of reality that Sudan will have to be involved in a settlement but it also shows that the throwing-of-shapes that sometimes goes on regarding which countries can attend particular talks (e.g. Iran on Syria) is just that. There's always some way to work around who's talking to who, regardless of who's in the room.

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