Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, speaking to reporters as he arrived in the Qatari capital of Doha for a summit of Latin-American and Arab leaders on Tuesday, backed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in his confrontation with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Security Council, reported dpa.
The ICC "has no power to take such an action against a sitting president," Chavez said in remarks broadcast on Doha's al-Jazeera satellite news channel.
"It does so because it is an African country, a Third World country," he said, referring to the ICC's attitude towards the Sudan.
"Why would the ICC not order (former US president George W) Bush's arrest or the arrest of the president of Israel (Shimon Peres)?" Chavez asked.
Venezuela is a state party to the Rome Statue establishing the ICC, and as such is bound by the UN Security Council to execute the court's arrest warrant if it can.
At the 21st summit of the Arab League in Doha on Monday, the Arab League formally announced its support for al-Bashir, who was present for the meeting despite the ICC's warrant for his arrest on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity.