Thursday, April 01, 2004

Arab League: what's up with the summit

The Tunisians say they didn't cancel the summit, just postponed it ... and they still want the right to chair the summit. al-Ahram tells the story.

The League's secretary general, Amr Moussa, gave an interview on Egyptian TV today and said that League members have agreed to go on with the summit ... but there is still no consensus about where to hold it. He went on to say ...
He insisted there was a "consensus" within the 22-member organizationon "to hold a summit under the presidency of Tunisia."

... "There are differences on the extent of the reforms and the initiatives coming from outside," Moussa said, referring to Washington's "Greater Middle East Initiative" for political reforms.

"But only a summit can resolve these differences," he added, criticising as "very dangerous" Tunisia's decision to scrap the summit that had been due to open March 29.
Reports are that 10 of the 22 League countries want to hold the summit in Egypt ... The ten are said to be Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Yemen, the Palestinians, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

Apparently, earlier today, there were reports that attributed statments to Amr Moussa which said the decision to move the summit to Egypt had already been made ... prompting Amr Moussa's spokesperson to chastise the press.
The spokesman hoped that foreign and Arab media would be precise and ‏accurate in reporting statements on this "greatly critical" issue.

He added that inaccuracy in reporting such statements could negatively affect the success of diplomatic efforts currently being made on the Arab summit issue.‏
Last post on the summit here.