Maher: No need to hold summit on Iraqi crisis in Turkey; Saudi FM: Saddam exile not on the agenda
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said Tuesday that his country sees no reason to hold a summit in Istanbul on the Iraqi crisis, adding that he has expressed his readiness to hold a foreign ministerial meeting in any agreed upon place.
The Middle East News Agency (MENA) quoted Maher as saying that he has never agreed on the recommendation to hold a summit in Istanbul on the Iraqi issue and conveyed that in all of his contacts he asserted that Egypt agrees on holding a foreign ministers meeting.
Turkey has recommended to hold a sextet meeting to discuss the Iraqi issue in Istanbul. The meeting would group Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan and Iran. On Monday night, Maher held contacts with the foreign ministers of Saudi, Syria and Jordan in which he discussed the Turkish invitation to hold a regional conference on the Iraqi crisis to be held next Thursday.
Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal met Tuesday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak .
"The main point on the agenda of the (Istanbul) meeting will be to avoid any military action on Iraq. This is the most important thing not only for the Iraqi people but the peoples of the region and the interests of the world at large," Prince Saud said. "All of us have ideas for what might happen. These ideas will be conveyed to official sides and until that happens I think it is inappropriate to talk about them. I cannot talk about any details."
Prince Saud dismissed reports in Arab and Western media in recent days that Arab leaders, particularly Saudi officials, were working to persuade Saddam to go quietly into exile or even to foment a coup against him.
"I think it is incorrect to talk about interference in Iraq's internal affairs," the prince said. "Talk about amnesty or an exile is something that should be determined by the Iraqi people." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)