Mubarak Misses Islamic Summit Because of Elections in Egypt
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak missed the Islamic summit in Doha because he wanted to stay in the country for the parliamentary elections, the government daily Al-Ahram reported Monday.
"Since the election process began, I decided not to leave the country," Mubarak told journalists who were asking why he skipped the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting which opened Sunday in the Qatari capital.
The elections "are an important phase which deserve our presence and follow-up, so that the whole country feels the respect we bring to this sacred mission," Mubarak said.
The Egyptian leader was interviewed by the Egyptian news media on Sunday. Three-stage elections for the 454-member parliament began on October 18 and the last day of voting was scheduled for Tuesday.
Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid headed the Egyptian delegation to the summit of the OIC, which groups 56 African, Arab and Asian member nations.
Egypt earlier expressed anger over what it saw as anti-Egyptian broadcasts by the Qatari-based al-Jazeera satellite television channel following the October 21-22 Arab summit hosted by Cairo.
Several opposition commentators and Palestinian Islamists appeared on the channel accusing Egypt of helping to orchestrate "too moderate" a stand against Israel at the Arab summit -- CAIRO (AFP)
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