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Mubarak to skip summit Mon. in Doha
By Faheem Al-Hamid
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 29 - 03 - 2009

President Hosni Mubarak will not attend the Arab summit in Doha, Qatar, on Monday that is aimed at forging Arab reconciliation.
“Egypt will be represented at the Doha Arab summit by Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mufid Shehab,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit in Cairo.
Gheit also stayed away from a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Doha on Saturday in advance of the summit. No official reason was given
Qatari sources said 16 Arab leaders have confirmed atttendance. The sources refused to comment on Mubarak's absence.
An Iraqi presidential statement said President Jalal Talbani has deputized Prime Minister Nouri Al-Malki to the summit, at his request.
The head of the Iraqi Presidential Court, Naseer Al-Aani, had previously said that President Talbani would be heading Iraq's delegation and that he would submit a working paper on developments in Iraq.
Practical decisions needed
A number of Arab foreign ministers said the summit is of high importance given the significant developments in the Arab region which require practical decisions in the interests of the Arab peoples.
The main topics to be addressed at the summit include ongoing Palestinian feuding and crafting an Arab response to the Hague-based International Criminal Court's arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al-Beshir for crimes against humanity in the suppression of a rebellion in the Darfur region.
“What is required from all of us is to stand with our brothers in Sudan and its leadership in order to prevent dangers that affect our collective security,” said Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem at the foreign ministers meeting.
On the Palestinian issue, the ministers drafted a resolution supporting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his peace agreements with Israel.
There will be three working sessions during the summit, two of them closed-door.
The summit will conclude with an open session on Tuesday, before the Doha Declaration is issued.
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, meanwhile, attacked the ICC, saying its decision was “questionable” and “a double standard.” He called for a joint Arab effort to confront the warrant.
Al-Beshir has made trips to Egypt, Eritrea, Libya and Ethiopia over the past two weeks, after the warrant was issued.


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