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UAE welcomes Cairo's hosting of Arab Summit

posted on 30/03/2004: 615 views

The UAE said it welcomes Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak's call for the holding of the Arab Summit in Cairo. In a statement on his arrival home in the early morning yesterday, Foreign Minister, Rashid Abdullah, said that President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is well known for his support for Arab solidarity and unity, as well as for his continuous call for joint Arab work.

"So when there is any work within the framework of Arab solidarity, progress and unity, certainly we've to be part of it,” he said. He pointed out that holding an Arab summit was necessary, and should be held in the shortest time possible, adding that the UAE appreciates President Mubarak's initiative and saw it as very important.

He said holding the summit in Cairo at the Arab League Headquarters was normal because Arab leaders had all agreed and decided that the summit must be regularly held in Cairo, being where the Arab League headquarters is, unless the country, currently chairing the League chooses to host the summit, then it shall have the right to do so. "So Egypt's initiative should be seen as natural, especially considering the role of Egypt and its good ability in the assessing of situations and their significance,” he said, adding that there was the need for Arab leaders to meet to crown the great efforts they have been exerting for the past days and weeks.

Abdullah, who described President Mubarak's decision as "a wise decision", disclosed that the suspension of the summit, scheduled to open today in Tunis, was not because of the issue of reform in the Arab world. "All Arab countries have agreed on the issue of reform before Tunisia suspended the summit,” he said. He further disclosed that the suspension was also not because of the issues on the agenda of the summit.

"Tunisia suspended the summit because of special considerations related itself,” he said, adding "The possibility of holding the summit was still there as work on that was going on and many breakthroughs were made in regard to a number of Arab demands. Almost 90 per cent of the issues on the agenda have been achieved and the foreign ministers were close to achieving the remaining 10 per cent,” he explained. He went on to say that the issues on the agenda of the Summit were decisive ones as they deal with reforms in the Arab world. "These decisive decisions needed serious debate and deliberations, taking into consideration a number of demands by member countries,” he said, adding that every member country had been given an opportunity with utmost respect to discuss and debate its issues of contention.

Tunisia suspended the two-day summit, which was scheduled to open today, citing differences on a number of issues presented for discussion by the host country, which saw those issues as very important towards achieving development, modernisation and reform in Arab countries. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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