Arab League's Mussa Proposes Boycotting Sharon
Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa proposed to Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo Thursday that they agree to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs calls for the complete cessation of political contacts with the Israeli prime minister", said a draft communique he submitted to ministers meeting in a bid to find a unified stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"Israel's boycott, or its ignoring Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, means the Arab countries should take the same decision concerning Sharon," says the draft communique.
"If (Ariel) Sharon does not see President Arafat as a partner in the peace process, the Arab countries do not see in Sharon a partner worthy of trust, and do not see any use in pursuing contacts with him," the text continues.
Mussa also proposed that the meeting decide that "the people of the Arab countries stop dealing economically with Israel in any form, and boycott Israeli products in any market, especially the products of the (Israeli) settlements, so long as the Israeli policies of aggression, of assassination, of state terrorism continue."
The Mussa draft also calls on the Palestinian people and all their organisations to "unite" in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.
Earlier Thursday, Palestinian international cooperation minister Nabil Shaath said in Cairo that the Arab ministers must make it clear to Sharon that if he does not deal with Arafat he will have no Arab partners.
"If Sharon says he doesn't want Arafat as a partner, the Arab nation must tell him clearly that he will find no Arab partner," Shaath told reporters after meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher.
Syria has already demanded that Arab countries break all relations with Israel and show their support for the continuation of the Palestinian uprising, according to its own draft communique. (AFP, Cairo)
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