Yemeni president not to attend Arab summit
Yemeni president Ali Saleh will not attend the Arab summit in Damascus. According to an official announcement, Yemen's Vice President Abdu Raboo Mansour Hadi, who is leading the Yemeni delegation, headed on Friday for Syria to take part in the 20th Arab Summit, which starts Saturday in the Syrian capital.
Hadi told Saba news agency that the summit would be held in "unique circumstances due to the accumulated problems in the Middle East region topped by the aggravating Israeli attacks against Palestinian people, the blockade on the Gaza Strip and Israeli refusal to respect the international community's decisions."
"The summit will deal with the situations in Somalia, Iraq and Lebanon as well as tackling several issues concerned by Arabs", Hadi added.
He did not specify the reason for Saleh's absence. "President Ali Abdullah Saleh could not attend the summit for exceptional and emergency reasons", Hadi said. The delegation accompanying the Vice President included Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, deputy Interior Minister Saleh al-Zaror, the permanent representative of Yemen to the Arab League Abdul-Wali al-Shamiri and Yemen's ambassador to Syria Salah al-Ansi.