Report: Mubarak Not To Attend Arab Summit; EU Hopes Summit Will Endorse Saudi Peace Proposal
Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak will not attend the upcoming Arab summit scheduled to be held later this month in Beirut, reported an Arab daily on Friday.
According to the London-based al Quds al Arabi, by not attending the Egyptian leader will express his protest about the way Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah presented his peace initiative. Officially, Egypt has yet to comment about this report.
Meanwhile, the EU Middle East envoy voiced hope that the Arab summit will endorse the Saudi peace proposal stipulating Arab recognition of Israel. "I hope that it will be adopted during the Beirut summit," European Union envoy Miguel Angel Moratinos told reporters after talks here with Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
"I think that it comes at a very timely moment. I think that the Beirut summit could be a historic one, a real historic one of tremendous consequences for peace in the area," Moratinos said.
Arab foreign ministers started three-days of talks in Cairo Friday to discuss the Saudi ideas and draft them into a resolution that will be put to the March 27-28 summit for endorsement as a comprehensive Arab plan.
"I think that it is time that Israel is recognized and accepted by the Arab world but it is also very important that the Arab world recuperate the territories that were occupied," Moratinos said.
Moratinos arrived in Beirut Thursday evening for talks with Lebanese officials on the summit and on a possible participation by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who has been living under Israeli blockade in the West Bank since December 3, AFP reported.
Moratinos declared the EU was committed to "do whatever is necessary to make the Beirut summit a success", and this should include Arafat's attendance at the Arab summit. (Albawaba.com)
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