Amman’s Arab Summit Aims to Heal Iraq-Kuwait Wounds, Support Crippled Palestinians
Arab leaders have gathered in Amman to attend the 13th Arab ordinary summit on Tuesday, determined to heal old wounds between Iraq and Kuwait and lend a crutch to the Palestinians, crippled by an Israeli economic blockade and six months of violence.
The first ordinary Arab summit since Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 has already been overshadowed by Baghdad's refusal to accept anything less than a unilateral Arab lifting of international sanctions imposed after the invasion, said reports.
Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq Shara said on Monday that “there is a text under discussion “separately” by both Kuwaiti and Iraqi sides, while several Arab ministers are carrying out consultations between the two sides, the official Petra news agency quoted him as saying.
The text might be considered as a common ground for following up the deliberations between the two sides, and it might succeed to reach an agreement, he added.
“In this case, the text will be included within the final communiqué under the title of “the state of affairs between Iraq and Kuwait.”
Meanwhile, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah Khatib said that Jordan believes that the summit has a great
opportunity for success, because the important point was to launch joint Arab resolution, and “we have achieved this,” according to the official Petra news agency.
Khatib said also that the draft resolutions presented to the foreign ministers preparatory meeting have been approved, and the final statement has been adopted.
However, he told the agency that the Iraqi-Kuwaiti conflict was not resolved by the foreign ministers, “but consultations are currently being carried out.
Although they remain divided over Iraq, Arab leaders are united over their support for the six-month-old Palestinian uprising against Israel.
The summit, which convenes just 20 days after hard-liner right-winger Ariel Sharon was sworn in as Israeli prime minister, is expected to take tough positions towards the Jewish state.
The draft final communiqué has endorsed Syria's call to reactivate an Arab boycott of Israel to force Sharon to return to the negotiating table on the basis of land-for-peace that launched the Arab-Israeli peace process in 1991.
It also calls on the United Nations to bring Israeli "war criminals" to trial. Most Arabs hold Sharon responsible for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees during Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon which the Israeli premier orchestrated as defense minister.
The summit will support Palestinian calls for the UN Security Council to send an international protection force to the region, a demand strongly opposed by Israel and the United States, said the agency.
Arab leaders also threw their backing behind an Iraqi decision to donate a billion euros (around 900 million dollars) to the Palestinians on top of a billion dollars pledged by the last Arab summit in Cairo last year.
Arab leaders will call for a speeding up in payments to the funds for the Palestinians, who complain they have only received one percent of the billion dollars, five months after it was pledged – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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