Mussa visits in Tripoli, but Libya determined to quit Arab League
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi rejected pleas to reconsider his country's withdrawal from the Arab League, prompting the grouping to declare "intensive consultations" with its other 21 members over his demands.
"I have not succeeded in convincing the Libyan party to go back on its decision," League chief Amr Mussa told reporters after a meeting with Kadhafi lasting more than an hour.
"Libya's presence at the seat of the Arab League will encourage the organization to take decisions which we need to overcome this difficult period," Libya's official JANA news agency quoted Mussa as telling Kadhafi. But he added that he had been "very embarrassed by the Libyan request to withdraw, which comes as the Arab nation is going through a dangerous period because of its weakness." "It is not an easy thing to abandon one's Arab identity, which is not a suit that one can simply take off," he warned.
But he added that other Arab countries should be more attentive to Libyan concerns which were a "message to the Arab nation to act."
Libya's African Unity Minister Ali Abdul Salam Triki, who met Mussa ahead of Kadhafi, said the move was in protest against the "Arab position in general."
In Tripoli, Mussa also held trilateral talks with the Libyan and Sudanese foreign ministers.
"The Libyan decision is a message to all the Arabs; and the message was received," Sudan's Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said, according to the Libyan news agency JANA. The Arabs need to unite to deal with "conspiracies" against them, he was quoted as saying.
On his return to the League's headquarters in Cairo, Mussa issued a statement highlighting Libya's "frustration and anger with the situation of the Arab world and the importance of rapidly thrashing out a common Arab position."
According to AFP, his spokesman Hishem Yusef said the League chief would "launch intensive consultations with Arab leaders over Kadhafi's demands."
As far as the Libyan leader was concerned, "the Arab world was faced with a flurry of simultaneous attacks, pressures and threats, be they in Iraq, the Palestinian territories or Sudan."
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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