Jordan’s King to Hold Separate Meetings with Kuwaiti, Iraqi FMs
Jordan's King Abdullah will hold Tuesday separate meetings with the foreign ministers of Iraq and Kuwait ahead of the Arab summit, said reports.
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Said Sahhaf arrived in Amman late Monday, and Sheikh Sabah al-Sabah is due to arrive Tuesday, said the Jordan Times newspaper.
Diplomats told the paper that the two officials will deliver letters from President Saddam Hussein and the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al Sabah to King Abdullah on the upcoming Arab summit due to start on March 27 in Amman.
A diplomat said Kuwait will adopt a “new approach” towards resolving its differences with Iraq, an issue which has impeded Arab consensus.
“Kuwait does not object to the lifting of the United Nations sanctions [on Iraq] but it believes also that Iraq should implement the world body's resolutions,” the diplomat told the Jordan Times.
Sheikh Sabah arrived on Monday in Beirut on the third leg of a five-nation tour of Arab countries for consultations ahead of the Arab summit, said the Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA).
Sheikh Sabah told the press on arrival in Beirut that he would meet on Tuesday with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and deliver a written message from Kuwait's emir.
Sheikh Sabah is due to meet on Tuesday with Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri before setting off for Amman on the next leg of his trip, which has already taken him to Damascus and Cairo and will end in Sanaa, said KUNA.
Earlier in Cairo on Monday, the Kuwaiti foreign minister said his country would raise the issue of its prisoners in Iraq during the coming Arab summit.
“The differences between Iraq and Kuwait will take second place during the Amman summit after the Palestinian cause which concerns all Arabs, particularly on the question of Jerusalem,” he said after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, still in dispute with Iraq, are opposed to an Iraqi request to raise the question of lifting the embargo on Iraq openly at the Arab summit, said the Jordan Times.
Iraq, meanwhile, called Monday on Arab leaders to decide during the Arab summit on a unilateral lifting of the embargo, according to AFP.
“If the issue of the embargo is raised, Arab countries must decide to lift it unilaterally,” Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan told reporters.
“Arabs must give priority to the lifting of sanctions. It is time for Arab countries to lift them unilaterally because in practice it is the Arabs who help enforce the sanctions,” he said, referring to Iraq's Arab neighbors.
Ramadan said his country would refuse “any discussion (during the summit) on Iraq if talks focus on what Amerca wants.” – Albawaba.com
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