S.Arabia sees Arab meeting on Gaza useless as Gulf states urge

Arab foreign ministers are scheduled to discuss holding an emergency Arab summit at a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday.

S.Arabia sees Arab meeting on Gaza useless as Gulf states urge

Gulf Arab heads of state were divided at a summit in Oman on Tuesday over how to address the conflict between Israel and Hamas, even though they were united in calling for an end to Israeli raids on Gaza.

Saudi Arabia has urged an end to Israel's attacks.

Commenting on the idea, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has said: "There would be no benefit in attending an Arab summit for statements."

"Obviously it will be difficult for them to reach a unified stance on the matter. Saudi Arabia has no interest in helping Hamas through political stances and it is aware that an Arab summit will do only that," a senior Arab diplomat said.

"For Qatar, this portrays it as a defender of Arabs. This divide is not unique to the Gulf; the Arab world is divided along these lines," he told Reuters.

Qatar, one of the six U.S. allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council, has called for an Arab summit to discuss the offensive that has killed about 350 Palestinians, while regional power Saudi Arabia has said it saw little benefit in a meeting where leaders make weightless statements.

Arab foreign ministers are scheduled to discuss holding an emergency Arab summit at a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, a call also made by Syria.

Officials at the GCC summit tried to steer clear from discussing the details of the Gaza crisis which had imposed itself on the agenda of an otherwise economic meeting aimed at approving a monetary union.

The Gaza issue has not stop the bloc's economic agenda as they seek to better coordinate fiscal policies to weather a global crisis that has sent major economies, including the United States and Japan, into recession.

The monetary union would enable GCC countries to have the option of adopting a more flexible foreign exchange regime, facilitate trade and shield their economies against global pressure.

Reuters
Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2008, 15:47
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