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Posted On: 14 January 2009 08:36 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar wants urgent Arab summit on Gaza

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Qatar has requested an emergency Arab League summit to discuss the Israeli offensive in Gaza, the Arab League said yesterday, but regional heavyweight Egypt said it favoured unofficial consultations among Arab leaders. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Cairo had told the Arab League the presence of Arab leaders in Kuwait on January 18 for an economic summit the next day “may pose an appropriate occasion for consultations among them about the situation in Gaza”. Arab League spokesman Abdel-Alim Al Abyad said Qatar made the request for a summit on Monday and that two thirds of the league’s 22 members needed to approve the request for the summit to take place. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al Moualem said Syria welcomed the idea and would attend. The Algerian state news agency APS said Algeria planned to attend the summit, and the Qatari television station Al Jazeera said Lebanon had also agreed to attend. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said on Monday that Arab foreign ministers would hold emergency talks in Kuwait on Friday to discuss “the continuation of the Israeli aggression on Gaza”. Egypt and Saudi Arabia fear a summit would produce little in the way of results and would make Arab leaders appear ineffective, diplomats said. Egyptian officials say Qatar and Syria are asking for a summit to embarrass Cairo.