Reports: Eight Arab states plan to hold summit ahead of Damascus meeting
Arab leaders were working towards holding an eight-state Arab summit in Cairo or Sharm el-Sheikh ahead of the Arab Summit due in Damascus March 29-30. According to al Hayat newspaper and Arab diplomatic sources in Amman, the mini summit aims at adopting a unified stand toward the Lebanon crisis and the Damascus summit. The sources said Arab leaders were also moving toward postponing the Damascus summit to pave the way for Lebanese consensus and the election of army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman president prior to the Arab conference in the Syrian capital.
According to the reports, two tentative dates for the eight-state summit were given: in Sharm el-Sheikh on March 9 or in Cairo on March 16. This meeting is expected to be attended by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, and Jordan.
The sources said the meeting was discussed during talks three days ago between the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. They added that Egypt agreed to host the summit after failing to bridge the gaps between Damascus and Riyadh on the Lebanese crisis.