Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "laughed off" calls by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes and genocide when Bashir attended the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) emergency summit in Istanbul earlier this month, AFP reported.

Bashir is wanted for war crimes related to the Darfur Genocide, which began in 2003. As many as 400,000 Darfurians were killed in what has been called the first genocide of the 21st century.

The ICC issued two arrest warrants for Bashir, the first in 2009 and the second in 2010. Both warrants remain in effect.

The Sudanese leader attended the summit in Istanbul, which was held in response to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, on December 13.

Erdogan told Turkish reporters Thursday that he had received the ICC's request to arrest Bashir at the summit and dismissed the request to bring the man accused of masterminding a campaign of genocide as absurd.

“Something like this just makes you laugh,” Erdogan told reporters. “Are we going to just go and hand over to you someone who is a member of the OIC and is taking part in such a summit?” he said. “What kind of understanding is this? It’s impossible to understand it. We just laughed it off.”