Mubarak criticizes Tunisian decision to delay Arab summit
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday said that the postponement of a summit of Arab leaders scheduled for Monday was unwarranted and urged that the meeting be held within three weeks.
The summit was indefinitely postponed Saturday by host Tunisia because of divisions over Arab reforms.
"There is no justification for delaying the summit, and for one party imposing its views unilaterally without consulting others," Mubarak told Orbit television in an interview that was published Monday by the Egyptian press.
Mubarak discussed the new proposal to hold the summit with the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa in Cairo on Monday, Egypt's Middle East News Agency reported.
In his comments, Mubarak said he would also discuss the matter with the king of Bahrain, who was scheduled to arrive in Egypt later Monday.
"I think there is no problem with holding it within two or three weeks. Everybody is waiting for the summit," Mubarak conveyed.
"If the (Arab) presidents want to meet again in Tunisia, I have no objection," Mubarak said. "We're not imposing anything on anyone. We just want to salvage the situation."
The Egyptian leader added: "I couldn't believe that a summit could be simply canceled without consultation with others. I was shocked by that."
"An unpleasant statement was issued" by the Tunisians, Mubarak noted, "and we don't want to get into argument for the sake of argument."
Asked about the differences that emerged in the ministerial meetings, Mubarak said that if he had heard of the problems, "I would have gone to Tunisia, and we would have been able to overcome what happened and found solutions to the disputes." "The summit has to succeed," he stressed.
Mubarak also voiced hope. "I tell the Arab people that there is always great hope. We shouldn't lose hope at all. There is no problem that hasn't a solution," he said.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)