Syria Calls for Holding Arab Summit
Syria's Foreign Minister Farouq Shara said his country will press for an Arab summit to discuss the peace process with Israel, particularly the issue of Jerusalem, at a two-day Arab League meeting in Cairo Sunday, reported The Associated Press
Sharaa and his four counterparts from Egypt, Tunisia, Oman and Yemen agreed late Saturday to hold an annual Arab summit, League Secretary-General Esmat Abdel-Meguid told reporters.
The proposal will next be put to the League's 22 foreign ministers, Abdel-Meguid said.
The proposal leaves it to this weekend's meeting to set a date for an Arab summit, which has not been held since 1996, said the AP.
"Syria hopes to convene an Arab summit as soon as possible to study how we can meet the challenges which face the Arab nation," Sharaa told reporters Saturday.
The summit would review the Arab-Israeli conflict "especially the issue of Jerusalem," Sharaa said, adding that no part of the city should be "squandered."
Meanwhile, AFP reported that Palestinian President Yasser Arafat arrived in Cairo, accompanied by Muslim and Christian religious leaders to participate in the meeting.
The Palestinian President has long threatened to declare an independent Palestinian state on September 13th.
He is expected to ask Arab countries to support his move, said AFP.
League members are expected to endorse full Palestinian sovereignty over east Jerusalem, but many states, including Egypt, have already privately advised Arafat to postpone an independence declaration so as not to jeopardize negotiations with Israel.
Arafat and Barak are scheduled to discuss the peace process with President Clinton on the sidelines of the UN Millennium Summit in New York on September 6th-8th - (Several Sources)
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