Arab leaders to discuss Gaza war during economic summit in Kuwait
Arab leaders decided Tuesday to discuss Israel's war on Gaza Strip at a Kuwaiti economic summit next week, rejecting a Qatari proposal to hold an earlier emergency meeting in Doha. Qatar renewed a call for an extraordinary Arab summit to be held on Friday. But Egypt and Saudi Arabia rejected the idea, and Kuwait said Arab leaders would instead tackle the situation in Gaza at the planned meeting in Kuwait City.
"It is only logical and natural that Gaza will be at the heart of the Kuwait summit. The (Arab) leaders will discuss during their summit the situation there," Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah told the official KUNA news agency. He said Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah will discuss with his Arab counterparts means to "put a quick end to the sufferings of our brothers in Gaza".
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah said after meeting that they backed the Kuwait talks to seek a halt to the "aggression" in Gaza, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Arab leaders are due to hold their first-ever economic summit in Kuwait on January 19 and January 20 to discuss ways to boost economic integration among Arab nations.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia also called on for an immediate ceasefire. "The Egyptian and Saudi sides agreed that there must be immediate ceasefire and immediate and complete implementation of the initiative President Hosni Mubarak launched," the statement conveyed.