Continued meetings in Egypt, in preparations for the Arab summit
Regional-Egypt, Politics, 4/1/2004
Discussions continued at the Egyptian Sharm esh Shiekh resort held by the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak with several Arab leaders in order to discuss the convening an alternative Arab summit substituting the 16th summit which was postponed by Tunisia.
Egyptian Presidential sources said that Mubarak received the Saudi crown prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz and then hosted a tripartite summit with the Jordanian king Abdullah II, King of Bahrain Hamad Bin Khalifa on Wednesday in Sharm Esh Shiekh to hold consultations on convening the postponed Arab summit.
Mubarak met with the Saudi crown prince who had arrived in Egypt on top of a high ranking delegation for less than one hour at Sharm Esh Sheikh airport after which the crown prince left for Austria before the arrival of the Jordanian king.
King Abdullah joined immediately after his arrival President Mubarak to one of the city's hotel to start a tripartite summit bringing them together with the King of Bahrain who is already in Egypt since several days. The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is expected to join the talks later.
A source at the Jordanian royal divan said that King Abdullah is careful to convene the summit as soon as possible and also for good preparations for its success.
The Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the Egyptian officials held meetings with several Arab foreign ministers to define the state and venue of the summit. However, the real reasons for postponing the summit in Tunisia are still the point of questioning at the Arab and international levels.
In a press conference the Egyptian minister of information Safwat al-Sharif said that the consultations held by Egypt aims at first to define the date of the meeting of the council of the Arab League ministers which precedes the summit and finalize all topics that are still under discussions and then a date for launching the summit is made.
On the other hand, the Foreign affairs minister in the Palestinian authority Nabil Shaath expected the summit will be convened in the first week of May in Egypt.
In a press conference in Gaza, upon his arrival back from Tunisia and meeting in Cairo with the Egyptian officials, Shaath added that the efforts made by President Hosni Mubarak and the tour made by the AL secretary general in the Arab states all pave the way for the summit which will not be later than May.
The Egyptian foreign minister Ahmad Maher yesterday linked between returning back to the Tunis meeting to the consent of most of the Arab leaders. He said that Egypt does not oppose convening the summit in Tunisia if the majority of the Arab states agree to this.
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