Arab summit likely on March 1st
Egypt and Bahrain have decided to hold an Arab summit to discuss the Iraq crisis on March 1 in Cairo, but the Arab League said the date and venue were still being finalized.
"There is an agreement between the Arab states to hold a summit on March 1 in Cairo. This comes in light of current joint Arab efforts to unite Arab positions on the Iraq issue," Egypt's official MENA news agency on Thursday quoted Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher as saying.
On its part, the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said late on Wednesday that Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa had spoken with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak by telephone and they had agreed that Manama would invite Arab nations to attend the annual summit at Arab League headquarters in Cairo.
A spokesman for the League said on Thursday the date and venue were still being arranged. "It is currently being finalized," he conveyed, adding that Secretary General Amr Moussa was still holding telephone consultations with member states.
The 22-member Arab League decided to bring forward the date of their annual summit from late March and move the meeting to Egypt from Bahrain amid concerns a U.S.-led war against Iraq might be imminent.
"The matter is about avoiding a dangerous war which would lead to instability in the region," Moussa was quoted on Thursday as saying by Reuters.
"With this and the Palestinian issue, we are about to head into a whirlpool," he said, adding that he was feeling "pessimistic and angry." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)