Al-Bashir Arrest Warrant Qatari Emir Warns of 'Chaos' in Sudan

In an interview with SPIEGEL to be published on Monday, the emir of Qatar has warned that Sudan could descend into chaos if President Omar al-Bashir is arrested. The Sudanese president is expected to defy an international warrant for his arrest to attend the Arab League summit in Doha on Monday.

The emir of Qatar has warned that the international warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir could destablize the entire region. "If anything happened to Omar al-Bashir and Sudan ended up in chaos, the whole of Africa will sink into chaos," Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said in an interview with SPIEGEL to be published on Monday.

He said that the terrorist group al-Qaida would be "happy to see Sudan become like Iraq." The emir has invited al-Bashir to attend the summit of the Arab League, which begins in Doha on Monday. Qatar does not belong to the signatory nations of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which issued an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president earlier this month for war crimes in connection with the conflict in Darfur.

The emir also greeted US President Barack Obama's offer of dialogue with Iran and clearly voiced his opposition to any possible US attacks on the country. "We will not be with America against Iran," he said, adding: "Iran never created a problem for us." The biggest US air base in the region is located in Qatar and the headquarters of the US central command is also located in the Gulf state.

The Qatar ruler also addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying he still believed in a two-state solution. He told SPIEGEL that even though Hamas, the radical Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip, do not recognize Israel at the moment, there was still the prospect of peace: "If Hamas will have the borders of 1967, they will have no alternative." The emir has acted as a mediator between the opposing Palestinian factions and is one of the few Arab leaders to host high-ranking Israeli politicians, even though Qatar does not have a peace treaty with Jerusalem.

The Qatari emir also held out the prospect that his might be the second Gulf Arab state to invest in the German auto industry. "For sure we will invest in the car manufacturers in Germany," he told SPIEGEL. "But we have to find the right time and the right price." Al-Thani said he considered the global financial crisis to be an "opportunity that will not be repeated for the next 20 years."

Earlier this week the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), bought a 9.1 percent stake in Daimler for almost €2 billion ($2.7 billion.)

On the subject of Qatar's oil wealth, the emir said he would be happy if oil prices stayed at $40 to $50 per barrel for another two years, adding that it would "help the world out of this crisis." He said he didn't see why OPEC should cut production just to keep the price of oil high. "If the world economy recovers this will be good for us, too."

Visit SPIEGEL ONLINE again on Monday to read the complete interview.
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