AFP: Saudi king to meet Syrian, Egyptian leaders
Mending fences in Riyadh
دمشق تؤجل استقبالها للرئيس الفلسطيني ‘بسبب زيارة الملك عبدالله’Mending fences in Riyadh
Warns Israel ‘peace is not only option’
Saudi King says ‘enough’ to Arab disputes
KUWAIT CITY (AlArabiya.net, Agencies)
The leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Qatar met on Monday to try to mend a rift pitting Cairo and Riyadh against Qatar and Syria, a Saudi diplomatic source said.
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, leader of regional powerbroker Saudi Arabia, called on Arabs at the Arab economic summit opening in Kuwait City to rise above their differences and hosted a lunch that brought together the leaders of Kuwait, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Qatar.
The efforts to heal a rift exposed by Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip were launched by Kuwait with the help of other Arab nations in the Gulf, a Kuwaiti source said.
The split was highlighted after Qatar hosted an Arab summit on Friday that Egyptian and Saudi leaders did not attend.
“We have to overcome Arab political differences that led to a division in the Arab ranks which can be exploited by those who want to achieve their regional ambitions” King Abdullah told the opening session of the economic summit.
He also warned that the Arab peace initiative “will not remain on the table forever.”
|One-billion-dollar Saudi donation
King Abdullah also announced the donation of $1 billion for the reconstruction of Gaza.
“On behalf of the Saudi people, I declare the donation of one billion dollars for programs to rebuild Gaza,” the Saudi monarch said at the opening session of the summit.
Arab leaders are tipped to approve the setting up of a $2 billion fund for the reconstruction of Gaza.
” We will make every possible attempt (but) if the factions do not respond to our efforts, then we tell them God helps those who help themselves, “
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Egypt’s president accused Hamas of inviting Israel’s three-week offensive against Gaza by not extending their ceasefire when it expired last month.
“You all know that efforts Egypt had undertaken to extend the ceasefire and our warnings that a refusal by factions to extend it was an open invitation to Israeli aggression,” Hosni Mubarak told the summit of Arab leaders in Kuwait.
He said Egypt would continue its efforts to achieve reconciliation between Palestinians. “Without it (Palestinian unity) no stability will be realized for Gaza and no rebuilding and no end for its embargo,” Mubarak said.
Hamas, the Islamist militant group which won 2006 parliamentary elections, has ruled Gaza since ousting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction in 2007. Fatah still holds sway in the occupied West Bank.
The Arab summit in Kuwait, initially meant to focus on the economy, has been overshadowed by Israel’s offensive against Gaza, which was suspended on Sunday.
“We will make every possible attempt (but) if the factions do not respond to our efforts, then we tell them God helps those who help themselves,” Mubarak said.
Mubarak said that resisting occupation, while legitimate, should also take into account both gains and losses.
” What is required, if we were to agree and I hope we shall agree, is a national unity government, “
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
On his part Abbas called for a national unity government that would pave the way for “simultaneous” presidential and parliamentary elections.
“What is required, if we were to agree and I hope we shall agree, is a national unity government that undertakes … lifting the (Israeli) blockade, opening the crossings, reconstruction and holding simultaneous presidential and legislative elections,” Abbas told the summit.
What is needed and necessary now is that all Palestinians should meet to reach an agreement,” Abbas said.
Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah announced at the summit’s opening his country will donate all $34 million needed by the United Nations relief agency for refugees, or UNRWA, for its Gaza Strip relief work.
Qatar last week suggested the setting up of a fund for Gaza and donated $250 million.
The donations came a day after fighting stopped in Gaza between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas, allowing residents to survey the damage from the 22-day war.
Gaza medics said more than 1,300 Palestinians have been killed since the Israeli offensive was launched on Dec. 27. The Jewish state has put its death toll at 13, including three civilians.
الأوسمة: AFP, Egypt, Saudi king, Syria, الخطاب الأوبامي و دليل سحر الباك الإسلامي