Egypt rejects Arab summit call, to attend Kuwait summit with Saudi

Egypt has rejected a Qatari request to hold an emergency Arab League summit in Doha on Friday to discuss the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

Egypt rejects Arab summit call, to attend Kuwait summit with Saudi
Instead, Egypt and Saudi Arabia called on Wednesday for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and said they would attend an Arab summit in Kuwait next week to discuss the crisis, Saudi state media said.

"The Egyptian and Saudi sides agreed that there must be immediate ceasefire and immediate and complete implementation of the initiative President Hosni Mubarak launched," a statement on the state news agency SPA said after Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah held talks in Riyadh.

Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, has asked the 22-member Arab League in Cairo to hold an emergency Arab summit on Friday.

Arab countries closely allied to the United States face popular anger over the Israeli offensive, which began on Dec. 27 and has killed 952 Palestinians.

Popular Arab satellite channels have carried harrowing images of the Israel violence and many capitals have seen daily anti-violence protests.

Egypt last week announced a proposal for an immediate ceasefire. Kuwait has said it will host an Arab leaders' summit next week but Qatar, home to leading Arab TV broadcaster Al Jazeera, has called for a summit sooner, on Friday.

Kuwait's proposal would merge a summit on Gaza with a planned "Arab economic summit" that Arab leaders have been invited to anyway. Egypt earlier on Tuesday rejected the Qatari plan, saying it preferred "consultations" in Kuwait.

"Saudi Arabia and Egypt will take part in the Arab summit in Kuwait to realise Arab interests and (to deal with) the Palestinian issue in a way that ends the aggression and realises peace for the Palestinian people," the SPA statement said.

Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2009, 12:43
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