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Maktoum leaves Arab summit

posted on 27/03/2002: 1011 views

Beirut, March 27, 2002 (WAM)-- The United Arab Emirates has decided to downgrade the level of its participation in the Arab summit currently under way in Beirut. HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid

Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai left the summit late this afternoon to return home, leaving Foreign Minister Rashid Abdullah to lead the country's delegation for the remainder of the meeting.

The decision to downgrade representation was taken as a result of what had taken place at the summit earlier in the day.

Speaking to reporters shortly after the decision, Information and Culture Minister Sheikh Abudllah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the decision had been taken after it became clear that the summit was, unfortunately, falling short of the expectations and aspirations of the Arab people.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the decision taken by the host Government not to permit Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to address the summit via satellite from his headquarters in Ramallah had not been the only reason for the UAE decision. +There are other reasons that were quite obvious right from the opening session+,

he said.

The Minister told the reporters that the UAE still adheres to its position of categorical and unqualified support for the Middle East peace initiative put forward by Saudi Arabia. This initiative provides the best framework within which the Arab people can be delivered from the current conflict, he said.

The Minister also stated that the UAE would support any decision that might be taken by Kuwait with relation to its conflict with Iraq.



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