Arab follow up committee meets today in Cairo: Difficult Iraqi questions
Regional-Iraq, Politics, 8/5/2003
Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia have asked for a clear and joint Arab position concerning the situation in Iraq, at a time when several foreign ministers stressed that the meeting of the Arab Move and Follow up committee which will be held today ( Tuesday) at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo will be mostly limited to the Iraqi question in addition to the Roadmap and means of withstanding the American demands and requests to recognize the transitional governing council and sending Arab forces to Iraq.
However, the main question yesterday at the Arab League was that whether the AL follow up committee will adopt a recommendation calling on the UN Security Council to meet at an official request from the AL council to take a decision for sending Arab- international forces to Iraq for clear missions and within limited times and within legal frames and this recommendation to be submitted to the next ordinary session of the AL council which will be held on September 9th at the level of foreign ministers in order to take a clear decision regarding it, rejection or acceptance.
The secretary general of the Arab League Amr Moussa was careful during his consultation meetings with heads of the delegations of the members at the follow up committee to explain the reality of his mission in Damascus on Sunday and what he had discussed with President Bashar al-Assad.
According to several sources, the meeting of the follow up committee came as a fruit for the movement carried out by President Bashar al-Assad recently to Egypt and then Saudi Arabia and that the latter ( Saudi Arabia ) was persistent to have Bahrain, the periodical president of the summit to convene this meeting because the Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al- Faisal who has just arrived from Washington at a time when the Kingdom is exposed to increasing pressures, has a lot to say on the position concerning the Iraqi governing council and sending Arab forces according to the request sent by the US administration to 70 countries and so far 30 countries responded to it.
According to well-informed sources at the AL premises that today's meeting will witness three interventions: the first is from the Syrian foreign minister Farouk al-Shara on the move recently carried out by President Bashar al-Assad and its objectives. The second is from the Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on the dimensions and implications of his recent visit to Washington. Prince al-Faisal got in a meeting with all delegations participating in the meeting support for the kingdom against the American pressures. The third intervention will be by Nabil Shaath on "Abu Mazen's visit to Washington and developments concerning the roadmap."
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