( dpa ) - Sudanese President President Omar Bashir arrived in Ankara on Monday for a two-day official visit to Turkey which has been condemned by human rights groups.
New York-based Human Rights Watch urged the Turkish government to press Bashir to end ongoing fighting in Sudan's Darfur region and in particular to end attacks on civilians.
"It's surprising that the Turkish government has chosen to honour a foreign leader responsible for massive human rights violations," Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement posted on the group's website.
"The Turkish authorities should affirm their commitment to human rights principles by calling on Bashir to end the atrocities in Darfur."
Bashir's visit is his first to Turkey. Turkish commentators said the invitation given to the Sudanese leader was an indication that Ankara wants to deepen diplomatic relations in north Africa.
Bashir was scheduled to meet with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on Monday before proceeding to Istanbul on Tuesday where he will meet business representatives.