Sudan seeks Turkey's support in UN Security Council to save al Bashir .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - Sudan appealed to Turkey seeking support for a bid to save Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir from being arrested by the International Criminal Court (ICC), officials said.

Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha paid an official visit to Ankara and met Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.

During the meeting Taha asked Turkey to block any possible attempts against el Bashir that might come to the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. Turkey was elected in October as a non-permanent member of the Council for two years.

The ICC was established by the Rome Statute signed in 1998 by more than 130 countries, of which 106 have ratified the convention setting up the court.

The U.N. Security Council in 2005 asked the ICC to investigate the ethnic killing in Darfur with the support of the United States, China and Russia -- three of the five U.N. Security Council permanent members with veto power -- despite their rejection of the court. The other two permanent members -- France and Britain -- have ratified the convention.

The ICC has issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudan's president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir Monday on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in the country's Darfur region. Al-Bashir paid his first visit to Turkey after the issuance of the warrant.

The U.N. says about 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since ethnic rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government in 2003, complaining of discrimination.

Sudan says 10,000 people have died and denies charges that its soldiers and allied militiamen committed war crimes and genocide there.