Mubarak not to attend Arab summit in Doha
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will not attend the Arab summit in Qatar on Monday, although Egypt will still be represented at the annual gathering, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said on Saturday. Diplomats told AFP that Egypt was still angry over Doha's stance during the Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip in December and January and thus the Egyptian leader will stay home.
"Egypt will be represented at the Doha Arab summit by Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mufid Shehab," Abul Gheit told reporters. The Egyptian minister stayed away from a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Doha on Saturday ahead of the summit.
Egypt-Qatar relations have been strained since the 22-day Gaza war, when Cairo viewed the Doha-based Al-Jazeera satellite television channel as leading a campaign against Egypt's policy towards the Palestinian enclave.
Some Arab press outlets, including Al-Jazeera, reported that Egypt rejected Qatari participation in a mini summit in Saudi Arabia this month called by King Abdullah and attended by Mubarak, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the emir of Kuwait.