Divisions cloud emergency Arab meeting

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2002 10:44:11 +0100

 Israeli soldiers throw stun grenades at Arab-Israelis
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1910000/images/_1914282_israelisoldiers30
0.jpg> 
Israeli military action continues despite Arab protests

Syria and Lebanon have said they will not be sending their foreign
ministers to an emergency Arab League meeting in Cairo. 

The meeting of the 22-member league has been called to discuss the
recent Israeli incursions in the West Bank, which have overshadowed the
Saudi-sponsored peace plan endorsed by Arab leaders last month. 




 Lebanon's Foreign Minister at the Arab League summit last week
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/36714000/jpg/_36714657_summit_150afp
.jpg> 
Lebanon and Syria are angry that Egypt and Jordan have not broken ties
with Israel

The meeting is due to begin amid continuing protests in the Arab world
against Israel's military action. 


Correspondents say that Syria and Lebanon's decision to not send
representatives stems from anger over Egypt and Jordan's refusal to
break ties with Israel. 


The BBC's Heba Saleh in Cairo says that, while Arab leaders are under
domestic pressure to take a tough stance, this meeting is not expected
to produce much beyond expressions of support for the Palestinians. 


Growing discord 


Iraq's foreign minister is also not attending the meeting following a
rejection by the Arab League of the country's proposal to cut down on
oil supplies in order to force the West to reign in Israel. 


The snub by the three countries indicates growing discord in the Arab
world regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 


At the Beirut summit in late March, Arab leaders offered Israel normal
relations if Israel pulled out of all Arab land it occupied in 1967. 


In return it demanded that Israel must also recognise a Palestinian
state with its capital in Jerusalem and the return of Palestinian
refugees. 


It also adopted a resolution calling on Arab countries to refrain from
setting up relations with Israel as long as incursions continued. 


Egypt and Jordan have not broken off diplomatic relations, and argue
that the resolution adopted by the League does not apply to them.

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