Arab Summit’s Conclusions Firm on Palestine but Loose on Iraq
The 13th ordinary Arab summit concluded in Amman Wednesday with a reiteration of the hardline position against the Israeli practices in the Palestinian lands, while Iraq’s call on the Arabs to unilaterally lift the decade-long embargo was not mentioned in the final communiqué, but a call for lifting the sanctions was included in Amman Declaration.
However, Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah al-Khatib told AFP that the summit called for a lifting of crippling UN sanctions on Iraq and solutions for Kuwaiti prisoners allegedly held by Baghdad.
The two-day summit's final declaration issued a call for "the lifting of the embargo on Iraq and to deal with the humanitarian issues related to the Kuwaiti prisoners and missing people and Iraqi missing people," he said.
Meanwhile, the Arab leaders expressed their "deep regret" over the US veto of a UN Security Council resolution to send observers to the Palestinian territories.
Regarding the Iraqi-Kuwaiti conflict, the conference asked Jordan's King Abdullah II to undertake further consultations and contacts to improve ties between Iraq and Kuwait for the sake of Arab "solidarity.”
Iraq rejected the three-point resolution, which was approved by Kuwait, despite last-ditch efforts by King Abdullah and several Arab leaders to convince Baghdad's delegation up until the end of the summit.
On Palestine, the summit stressed the “Palestinian right for struggle” against Israel “until it achieves its legitimate rights.” The leaders “welcomed” Iraq’s decision to support the Palestinian with one billion euros, while they instructed the secretariat controlling the Aqsa and Intifada funds set up by the last summit in Cairo last October, to find a mechanism to support the PNA budget.
They called on the Geneva Declaration member states to convene with the aim of discussing ways of protecting Palestinians, while repeating the call to the UN Security Council to provide protection for the Palestinians.
There was nothing new regarding boycotting Israel, a mere repetition of the Cairo summit resolutions, calling for the activation of measures “to prevent Israel from penetrating the Arab world under any pretext.”
The final statement voiced Arab support for Syria and Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the summit called for the lifting of sanctions on Libya and support for the country’s claim for compensation for the harm done to it by the embargo which was imposed because of Libya’s alleged refusal to cooperate on the Lockerbie bombing investigations.
The leaders also supported the UAE’s demand for sovereignty over the disputed islands with Iran, urging the latter to accept peaceful ways of settling the dispute.
The summit also supported Somalia and Sudan.
On the economic side, the summit agreed on the Egyptian-proposed Arab economic summit to be held in Cairo in November 2001.
A brief presser was jointly held by Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah Khatib and outgoing Arab League Chief Esmat Abdel Meguid. The two officials overviewed the summit communiqué , before leaving to make room for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh who was meeting with reporters.
The Arab leaders decided to appoint Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa as the new secretary of the league, authorizing him to make changes to the work and structure of the organization – Albawaba.com
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